Category Archives: College of Nursing News

DAISY Award Winner: Bret Lyman

Bret Lyman

Bret Lyman with award. Photo courtesy of Zak Gowans.

By Quincey Taylor

The DAISY Foundation is a non-profit organization, established in 1999, by the family of Patrick Barnes. Barnes passed away from complications of an autoimmune disease called Immune Thrombocytopenic Purpura at the age of 33. Before he passed, his family saw the dedicated service and kindness offered to him by the nurses responsible for him. After his death, the Barnes family founded DAISY—an acronym for Diseases Attacking the Immune System—to honor their son and express gratitude to exceptional nurses around the world.

The DAISY Award is given to a faculty member at the BYU College of Nursing twice a year. Assistant professor Dr. Bret Lyman was nominated and selected to receive the award this fall semester. He teaches the capstone course and the undergraduate ethics course. Students are profoundly impacted by his dedication to truly learning the Healer’s art and teaching that to his pupils.

Bret Lyman 2

Bret Lyman and his family. Photo courtesy of Zak Gowans.

In the nomination, one student described Lyman as “fully invested in bettering healthcare through both improving the hospital system in his research and molding compassionate nurses in his teaching.” The student told the story of how during their capstone semester, his or her financial aid fell through and he or she became homeless. The student described Lyman’s compassionate service, how he “took the time to listen and was able to connect with the college to find resources so I could finish. This is when I really understood that he cares about the success of his students. Teaching is not just a job for him.”

As this story illustrates, Bret Lyman truly practices the Healer’s art. Lyman finds inspiration from the Savior, and says, “I think when we keep the Master Healer, Jesus Christ, in mind it will keep us grounded. He helps us move past some of our personal imperfections and personal struggles. You know that He is going to be there to help cover that gap between what we can do with our best effort and what needs to be done.”

Watch the video to learn more: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x4vHTW2M0ak

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Three Generations of BYU Nurses

By Mindy Longhurst

Rasmussens

Image of the Trapnell family at Lauren’s wedding. From left to right: Nancy Trapnell, Lauren Young and Laurie Rasmussen. Image courtesy of Rasmussen.

Nancy Trapnell (BS ’65), Laurie Rasmussen (BS ’90) and Lauren Young (semester five) are three generations of BYU College of Nursing graduates. The Healer’s art runs in the blood of these women; as all of them have gone on to serve others within healthcare. This love of service is a bonding desire that grandmother, mother and daughter all share.

Each of them were drawn to nursing for personal reasons. This legacy started when Trapnell was a little girl. She says, “Ever since I was little I wanted to be a nurse. I read a lot of Nancy Nurse Golden Books.” She studied nursing at BYU and went on to have a career that she thoroughly enjoyed.

Following her mother’s example, Rasmussen decided to pursue nursing as well. She says, “I grew up watching my mom as a nurse and the satisfaction that she felt at work. She then came home and talked about her career. That is what inspired me.” Rasmussen now works at a surgical center helping patients with same day recovery.

Following suite, Young began studying nursing as the third generation. The influence of her mother and grandmother inspired her. Young says, “I followed the same path. I really liked how my mom and grandma always helped our family when anything was going on. They were always helping neighbors. I felt like a nursing career was a great way that I could be a Mom and be actively involved with my family and community.” She hopes to work in the ICU after she graduates in April 2019.

Nancy at BYU

Image of Trapnell when she was a nursing student at BYU. Image courtesy of Rasmussen.

Trapnell loves to talk to her granddaughter and see the changes that have happened in the BYU College of Nursing since she has been there. Trapnell explains, “When I was a student, nothing was disposable. We had to sharpen needles and clean the gloves and bedpans. We lived by the LDS Hospital in a dorm. That was a lot of fun because our class got so close! We still are very close.”

However, one thing that has not changed is the college’s mission to teach its students the Healer’s art. Young explains, “I have been able to learn so much by learning nursing with a gospel perspective. It has just been really eye opening to understand how much God really is involved in our lives and how much the Savior sacrificed for all of us. I can think of an instance just last week while I was at clinical. I took care of a patient that was dirty, stinky, drug addicted and homeless. My first impression was that I did not want to take care of the patient. But, I really did have to step back and think ‘I have been taught to serve everyone I have come in contact with as a nurse.’ I feel in those situations it is so much easier to think that I can be like the Savior; I can implement the Healer’s art. Treating everyone with kindness and love is exactly what the Savior would do.”

Trapnell currently works as a hospice nurse, where she learned the beauty of the Healer’s art after spending a Christmas day with a patient rather than her family. She describes, “Two Christmases ago, I got a call that someone had fallen at the nursing home I worked at. They called me in to help assess the patient. At first, I was frustrated because I had to leave my family. When I went inside, I discovered this patient had fallen on the ground and broken his hip and I was able to give him pain medication to make him comfortable. I stayed for about an hour and a half waiting for his family to come. This was one of the nicest Christmases I had because I gave up something for myself in order to give to someone else.”

BYU changed the way that these women were able to live the gospel and learn about nursing through the lens of the Savior.

Trapnell explains, “I grew up in a home that was not very active in the church. When it was time for me to choose a college, my father told me that I needed to come to BYU for at least a year. When I came here, I absolutely loved it! I loved the spiritual aspect. I just loved BYU! BYU taught all of us to always be honest. It was able to set me for life. I was able to be married in the temple and continue faithfully in the Church for the rest of my life.”

Rasmussen was influenced by her mother’s love for BYU, and was raised by parents who were big BYU fans. She says, “I grew up thinking that BYU was great, and growing up in Arizona, I knew that is where I wanted to go. I remember it was hard to get into the nursing program, but I was able to get in. I loved the clinical experience and the feeling in the nursing program. Everyone is united and supports each other. I love BYU!”

iv

Image of Young while learning how to insert an IV. Image courtesy of Rasmussen.

Continuing the legacy, Young came to BYU to study after a year at SUU. BYU was always in her backyard, and that is where all her friends wanted to go. She decided to attend her freshman year at SUU and says, “While there, I missed being surrounded by people who believed the way that I believed. Having professors that understand what I believe makes a difference. They teach here differently because they make it applicable to members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I think it took me getting away to realize that I am lucky to have this so close to home. I found my place at BYU when I was accepted into the Nursing program. I feel like I will not just be a better nurse, but I will leave here being a better person because of BYU.”

As a side note, Rasmussen is married to Assistant teaching professor Ryan Rasmussen. To learn more about his latest project, visit https://byunursing.wordpress.com/2018/09/12/improving-communication-in-the-trauma-room/.

Graduate Student Experiential Learning

By Mindy Longhurst

maren with students on boatGraduate student, Maren Topham and assistant teaching professor, Daphne Thomas with undergraduate students in Tonga. Image courtesy of Topham.

The College of Nursing undergraduates participate in a Public and Global Health study abroad during the spring of their senior year. This experience allows them to learn more about a different culture and study nursing techniques from other parts of the world. In some instances, a graduate student will come and be a mentor figure for the undergraduate students. With the help of a Graduate Mentoring Assistance Grant, graduate student Maren Topham was able to mentor others in the Kingdom of Tonga this past spring.

teaching childrenTeaching Tongan children about hygiene. Image courtesy of Topham.

Topham was able to supervise some of the clinical rotations, teach the undergraduate students and supervise the work with the nurses in Tonga. The purpose of the public and global health clinical is to be completely submerged in another culture. Topham says, “In nursing you take care of a variety of people. I learned valuable lessons that will help me with my career. We had many different cultural experiences. We wanted to learn about how they view family, healthcare and religion.”

blood pressureA nursing student taking someone’s blood pressure. Image courtesy of Topham.

Assistant teaching professor, Daphne Thomas, was able to accompany Topham. It was exciting for Thomas to see Topham mentoring others. Thomas expounds, “Maren was a role model for the undergraduate students! You get to build a relationship with students that you can’t get anywhere else.” A nursing student explains, “I think having a graduate student enhanced our experience because we could have an example of applying the classroom to ‘real life’. We try to do that as nursing students, but we do not yet have that experience! It was great to see how Maren brought education and application together!”

peopleNursing students in Tonga. Image courtesy of Topham.

The experiences and events that they had in Tonga will help everyone to become more loving and compassionate nurses. While in Tonga, they were able to learn more about rheumatic fever and heart disease. This disease in more common in Tonga and is usually a result of untreated strep throat that negatively effects the heart valves. The students were able to learn from the nurses in Tonga about how they treat rheumatic fever and they discussed the ways that it is treated in the United States. Topham loves to be able to learn more about how other countries perform healthcare and how others learn.

weavingA nursing student learning how to weave a rug. Image courtesy of Topham.

The Graduate Mentoring Assistance Grant is given to a certain number of graduate students throughout the university who will be using the funds for experiential learning. This type of learning includes having experiences that help graduate students mentor undergraduate students. With this grant, her whole time in Tonga was financed. The grant even allowed them to be able to have transportation to go into more communities, learning more about the Tongan culture and healthcare system. The experiential learning program allowed Topham to have a life changing experience.

pretty tongaThe beauty of Tonga. Image courtesy of Topham.

Introducing New BYU College of Nursing Program Directors

By Quincey Taylor

peggy

Changes to the staff of the BYU College of Nursing were made this fall semester, bringing new insights to the established positions. Associate teaching professor Dr. Peggy Anderson has replaced associate teaching professor Debra Mills as the undergraduate program director, and associate professor Dr. Beth Luthy has replaced associate professor Dr. Donna Freeborn as the graduate program director. We want to introduce Anderson and Luthy as well as thank Mills and Freeborn for their years of devoted service in these positions.

Peggy Anderson

In an office adorned with photos of the Savior and family members, Dr. Peggy Anderson keeps her priorities in mind every day. Anderson is one of the tenured members of the faculty, having worked in the College of Nursing for a total of 14 years. She loves working with the students, and when she was invited to take the position as the new undergraduate program director, she happily accepted. Although it sometimes seems overwhelming, Anderson is ready and willing to bring new insights into the important position.

When asked about her 35-year career in the healthcare industry, Anderson laughs, “I’ve been around the block a few times.” She did not originally consider going into nursing when she was a student at BYU; her dream was to work with special ed children. However, she was influenced by her father, with whom she had a close relationship, to consider nursing. Anderson’s mother, sister and grandmother had all been nurses and her father saw the work ethic required for the field. He knew that Anderson had that same work ethic and that she could excel as a nurse if she wanted to. She ended up following his advice and graduated from BYU with a nursing degree. She fulfilled her dream of working with children and went into pediatrics. Anderson’s true passion for nursing lies with patient care. She loves to serve those that are suffering as well as their families.

This love for serving others has translated perfectly into her educational career. In many ways, teaching is a form of service to the younger generations. Recently, Anderson ran into one of her past students with whom she did clinicals. It was fun for them to reconnect because of the personal relationship sparked in their time working together. While Anderson strives to have a professional attitude during clinicals, she comments, “You can’t help but get to know each other really well.” Anderson expresses excitement to continue working with the bright students in the program and mentions, “they are always in my prayers.”

Debra Mills

Debra Mills is stepping down as the undergraduate program director, but that does not mean that you won’t be seeing her around. She is reassuming her full-time faculty position and will be solely teaching once more. When asked how she feels about handing the position over to Anderson, she says, “I know I am leaving it in capable hands.”

Mills first considered going into nursing when she was talking with a neighbor who was a nurse in the Navy. This neighbor liked her and thought she had the characteristics needed for the medical field. Mills applied to the nursing program at Rick’s, got in, and came to work in Salt Lake City after graduation. After three years working, she achieved her goal of getting a job at Primary Children’s Hospital in 1978.

Her first experience teaching was at the Salt Lake Community College, where she was the program coordinator. She helped to write the associate degree RN program for accreditation there. After all that experience, Mills had a lot to offer once she was hired at BYU. She has been teaching and working here for 17 years. Her favorite part has been being so closely involved with the curriculum used in every course. She truly knows all the ins and outs of every nursing class. She also has loved working with students and putting them at ease if they were ever worried about something.

When asked about how it has been working with such a fantastic team of faculty, she says, “I appreciate them. I appreciate their support, when they let me know if they need something or if I can be of help. I just appreciate them.” There is no doubt that faculty feel the same way for her, and want to thank her for all her years of dedicated service.

beth

Beth Luthy

Barefoot and cozy in her office, Dr. Beth Luthy helps master’s students feel at ease as the newly appointed graduate coordinator. Although she is heartbroken that Donna is retiring, Luthy is excited to get to work with the students and feels that she has something unique to offer in this position.

Luthy did not plan to become a nurse at first; however, she was inspired to start learning the Healer’s art when her first son was born with a liver abnormality. He ended up getting a liver transplant early on and was very sick for the first five years of his life. Luthy sometimes felt frustrated because she would listen to the medical staff discuss her son’s condition, and she did not understand what they were saying. “It was like another language,” she says. It was then that she decided to go to nursing school to become a better advocate for her suffering child. She wanted to give a voice to the voiceless and be her son’s informed supporter.

This pattern of advocating for the weak has continued throughout her career. Luthy became a school nurse for a number of years. She fell in love with the job and enjoyed interacting with the children. However, she became a little exasperated when she realized that for many she was the only line of defense in their healthcare. They did not have insurance and therefore did not receive the care they needed. This inspired her to go back to school in order to treat these kids herself. She decided to go to Nurse Practitioner School at BYU in 2005. There she got a Bachelor’s in Community Health Education.

Her heart always remained in the education system, and she applied for a position teaching in the undergraduate program at BYU. Before applying, Luthy was uncertain if this job was the path she should follow. However, one day while she was taking her kids to soccer practice, she received an undeniable prompting that she was meant to teach at BYU. “It was so strong,” she says, “I just kind of sat there dumbfounded, taking in that moment. It was a revelatory moment.” Luthy got the job and began teaching.

Luthy learned about the position opening as the graduate coordinator from Dr. Donna Freeborn, who in many ways was her mentor. When asked about how she feels as the new graduate coordinator, Luthy replied, “If I could look 13 years into the future, I never would have thought that I would be here.” She knows the students are capable of amazing things and looks forward to holding them to that standard.

Donna Freeborn

Dr. Donna Freeborn is retiring after a full 20 years working in the College of Nursing. Freeborn has even taught multiple current faculty members when they were students, therefore influencing the future of the nursing program. We will miss her and are grateful for the legacy of service she has left. She truly has left a mark on the nursing program and the students who have passed through it.

Freeborn started her nursing career in Med/Surge, eventually going on a service mission to Hong Kong. Her passion was with labor and delivery, inspiring her to get a master’s degree and become a midwife. After a few years of experience, Freeborn saw an ad in the church news for someone to come to BYU and teach labor and delivery. She applied on a whim, uncertain if they would be interested in having her. She was hired, however, and began teaching in the undergraduate program for the following three years. After that, she taught in the nurse practitioner program for 17 years. When asked about how she felt leaving the field to come teach at BYU, she says, “I really liked the patients, that was my biggest thing, and I thought I would miss that when I came to teach. But the students filled that gap.”

Freeborn has absolutely loved teaching and focusing on the Savior, commenting, “Teaching and nursing are very similar in a lot of ways. In nursing, we talk about learning the Healer’s art and in education, we focus on becoming like the Master Teacher. Well, we’re talking about the same person.” She has learned to see people how the Savior would. She says, “You have to look at people like human beings. They have all aspects of their lives intertwined and we need to be understanding.”

Freeborn expresses her gratitude to all her coworkers and students, but at the same time she is excited for a relaxing retirement. When asked about her future plans, she says, “I’m building a cabin in Mount Pleasant.” The faculty wants to wish her luck in retirement and hopes she visits often.

 

100% of BYU Nursing Students Pass NCLEX for the Second Quarter in a Row

By Quincey Taylor

Michael Scott ATIStudent Michael Scott studies ATI to prepare for the NCLEX.

NCLEX-RN. Even mentioning the name of the National Council Licensure Examination makes most aspiring nurses nervous. That is not true, however, for the students at the College of Nursing at BYU. For the past two quarters of 2018, BYU students have passed the NCLEX and received their nursing licenses at an astounding 100% first-time passing rate. This is an amazing accomplishment considering the average passing rate for U.S.-educated registered nurses in those same quarters was only 89.5% (Utah average was 88.32%). College officials explain how the members of the program have achieved this above-average rate and why students should see the value in the (sometimes arduous) ATI testing.

Students in the College of Nursing take multiple Assessment Technologies Institute exams during their stay in the program. Most undergraduate BYU faculty use ATI material as an integral part of their curriculum starting with the second semester students. They are provided with a textbook, online study guides, flashcards, and other useful aids. This is great practice because in many ways ATI mirrors the style of the NCLEX, which is nothing like usual school exams that test mostly for technical knowledge. The NCLEX, on the other hand, tests students’ ability to analyze situations and apply this same knowledge. Critical thinking skills are needed, and the questions require test-takers to make the kind of judgments they would face in the real world.

ATI-100All Utah nursing programs NCLEX passing rates. See the link for more information https://dopl.utah.gov/nur/rn_pass_rates_2018.pdf

When asked why the ATI exams are important for student preparation, associate teaching professor and undergraduate program coordinator Dr. Peggy Anderson says, “It’s a good predictor, and that’s why we keep it. We can kind of tell where your knowledge base is and where it’s lacking.” She also added that it is a great tool professors can use to know what information they need to go back and readdress to help their students.

Additionally, professor Dr. Renea Beckstand offers an NCLEX prep course for students to take during their capstone. Her class simulates what taking the test really will be like. Even if students do poorly on the practice exam, in many cases that is the added motivation they needed to take an extra study class or to dedicate more time on their preparation, helping them pass in the end. For those students who might be struggling a bit, associate teaching professor Karen de la Cruz teaches a study skills course to add to their tool belt. It focuses on the fundamentals of studying, like how to interpret questions and have a good test-taking strategy.

While low ATI scores by no means guarantee a low score on the NCLEX, in almost all cases the nurses that did not pass the NCLEX the first time around had poor ATI marks. Associate Dean and associate professor Dr. Katreena Merrill comments, “I looked at it across several semesters, and the people that did not pass the NCLEX had lower scores on their ATI’s all the way across the board.”

For the graduating classes of December 2017 and April 2018 who passed the NCLEX the first time around, faculty want to say congratulations on such a remarkable achievement. Merrill adds, “I am so proud of them and it shows the kind of quality we are producing. Being a brand new nurse is hard, so they should be proud of passing the NCLEX the first time around.” She also urges those alumni to pay it forward and find ways to help the younger generation of students along the same journey.

Updated College Mission, Values and Vision

By Quincey Taylor

Peterson with ValuesAssistant Professor, Dr. Neil Peterson with the new college mission, values and vision statements.

Recently, the College of Nursing at BYU has updated its mission, values and vision. As a direct reflection of the college beliefs, these statements were revised by a core group of faculty in order to better portray BYU Nursing as a whole.

Assistant professor, Dr. Neil Peterson, chair of the Future’s Task Force of the College of Nursing, explained that he and a group of four other faculty members got together to discuss the college mission, values, and vision. They wanted to know how they could be updated to better reflect the goals of the college. It had been years since their original creation, and none of the current faculty had helped in their formation.

A project a year in the making, Peterson expressed elation at the change and says, “Revisiting and refreshing are good and will bring more awareness about this important issue.” He also clarified, “We wanted it to be more applicable to anyone within the College of Nursing, students and faculty alike.” It is the hope of college administrators that these changes unite all participants within the College of Nursing in striving to become like the Savior. Dean and Professor Dr. Patricia Ravert explained that the mission, values, and vision “now reflect principles that nursing faculty, staff, students, and alumni can understand, support, and emulate in their careers.”

College Mission Statement

“The mission of the College of Nursing at Brigham Young University is to learn the Healer’s art and go forth to serve.” With an emphasis on learning the Healer’s art as well as the BYU motto “Go Forth to Serve,” the new mission statement brings to light the need for students to not only learn as much as they can, but to also apply their knowledge throughout their lives. It is not good enough for a student to focus solely on his or her academic success; he or she must also strive to let that knowledge change who they are as a person. The mission statement highlights the administrative desire of the College of Nursing to not only prepare high quality nurses for the field, but also high quality, well-rounded members of society.

College Values

Accountability, Collaboration, Compassion, Innovation, Inspiration, Integrity, Learning, and Service. To introduce these new values, eight short video segments narrated by Dean Ravert are being released in the following weeks. Each video highlights one value, as well as an individual within nursing history that emanated this value exceptionally well. For example, Clara Barton is featured as a glowing model of a nurse with compassion. Her nursing career during the Civil War eventually led her to implementing The Red Cross organization for the first time in the United States. These eight videos will be released each Monday starting September 17.

College Vision

“Guided by the truths of the gospel of Jesus Christ, we exemplify the Healer’s art by: leading with faith and integrity; advancing the science of nursing and healthcare; promoting health and wellness; alleviating suffering; and serving individuals, families, and communities.” One significant change to the college vision was bringing the Savior in as the ultimate example as the Healer. Neil Peterson and his team felt strongly to include the gospel in the vision statement because this is something that sets this university apart from any other. As summarized by Dean Ravert, “The Savior taught the gospel, and our efforts must focus on His instructions, love, and example.” The college hopes to remind consistently the students and faculty of their ultimate goal of becoming like Jesus Christ.

Following these changes, Peterson mentioned that he has noticed an increased awareness among faculty and students of what the mission, values, and vision are. College officials trust that this increased awareness will ultimately lead to an amplified application of these core beliefs, bringing all students and faculty a step closer to learning the Healer’s art.

 

Nursing Faculty Honored for their Work

By Mindy Longhurst

Recently, two faculty members of the College of Nursing won awards for their excellence in nursing and teaching.

rod newmanAssistant teaching professor, Rod Newman, receiving the NP State Award for Excellence. Photo by AANP News.

Rod Newman

Assistant teaching professor, Rod Newman earned the American Association for Nurse Practitioners State Award for Excellence. He received this award in Austin, Texas. This award recognizes one NP from each state who shows exemplary nursing care.

Newman obtained this award for his expertise and experience as a cardiology NP, his dedication for developing and running the critical care unit for Mountain View Hospital in Payson, his work as the CCU Nursing Director, his role at establishing and piloting the NP role at Utah Valley hospital and for the dedication to mentoring and helping students throughout Utah County.

Gaye Ray FWA Excellence in Teaching 2018 (2)Associate teaching professor, Gaye Ray, with Patti Freeman receiving the Excellence in Teaching Award.

Gaye Ray

Associate teaching professor, Gaye Ray recently attained the Excellence in Teaching Award from the BYU Faculty Women’s Association. This award is given to those who have expert skills and knowledge in their designated field and teach with excellence with the need of the student always in mind.

Ray was awarded the Excellence in Teaching award at the FWA Spring Retreat.

Congratulations to both Rod Newman and Gaye Ray for their excellence in nursing and the awards they have received!