Category Archives: Year-end Review

Ravert’s Third Year Review: Serving with Students

Dean Ravert’s third-year review would not be complete without emphasizing her strong commitment to students. This past year was defined by the many interactions she had with students, and the many times she blessed the college with her example of service.

Nursing students had several opportunities to serve alongside their Dean. In November, Dean Ravert joined the Student Nurses Association to make Christmas ornaments for its Festival of Trees entry. The students and faculty gathered in the Nursing Learning Center with glitter and ribbons to create beautiful ornaments for the annual event that benefits the Primary Children’s Hospital.

This fun day of service allowed the students to get to know their Dean a little better and learn from her example.

Dean Ravert (front row left) participated in part of the Ecuador section of the clinical practicum for public and global health nursing course.

Dean Ravert (front row left) participated in part of the Ecuador section of the clinical practicum for public and global health nursing course.

Dean Ravert also joined the Ecuador section of the clinical practicum for the public and global health nursing course for a week in the Amazon jungle during spring term. She assisted faculty members Sondra Heaston and Stacie Hunsaker, and helped nursing students to learn from the Ecuadorian culture, to deliver babies in rural hospitals, and to monitor the health of children in multiple elementary schools.

Jacob Ferrin, a senior nursing student who went on the global health trip to Ecuador, said having the Dean participate with them was a great opportunity to become better acquainted with her and see how truly qualified she is.

“Dean Ravert has always seemed like a very professional lady, but this was a chance to see her fun side and hear her stories,” Ferrin said. “It was so helpful to have her expertise and insight while we were there.”

He enjoyed hearing more about the Dean’s experience and research and felt like she became “one of the students” on this trip.

Dean Ravert (in red) participating in a flag raising ceremony at Fort McHenry, along with veterans from a Utah Honor Flight group.

Dean Ravert (in red) observing veterans from a Utah Honor Flight fold a flag used on a navy ship in World War II.

Dean Ravert also served alongside another group of students a few weeks later when the College of Nursing sponsored 17 veterans on an Honor Flight trip to Washington D.C. The Dean went on the trip as a Guardian—a caretaker for an assigned veteran during the activity—for Elder Hartman Rector Jr., a Korean War Veteran and Emeritus General Authority for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Students from the Veteran section of the clinical practicum for the public and global health nursing course who had just spent a week in Washington D.C. learning how to best care for veterans returned to serve as guardians for the veterans on this flight. The students applied the knowledge they gained from their public and global health course during the three days they spent with the veterans.

One of the participants in the group said it was a nice opportunity for students to see the Dean from a different perspective. “She was just one of the students, serving like everybody else.”

Students in the College of Nursing have had other opportunities throughout the past year to get to know their Dean in a setting of service (washing windows at the United Way Day of Caring event in September, making humanitarian kits during the annual alumni service project in October, helping with a Days for Girls International sewing project in January, and dishing up food at the Take a BYU Cougar to Lunch event in February, etc.). She has never hesitated to take part in projects and activities where she can work with students, share her knowledge, and help others. Where nursing students are serving, Dean Ravert can often be found alongside them.

Ravert’s Third Year Review: NLC’s Successful First Year

As we review the dean’s third-year accomplishments this week, a major achievement for the college is from the success of the Mary Jane Rawlinson Geertsen Nursing Learning Center (NLC) during its first year of operation.


Burns Foundation president and board chair Rex J. Rawlinson cuts a ceremonial ribbon with Dean Ravert to officially open the Mary Jane Rawlinson Geertsen Nursing Learning Center (named after a Utah nursing leader in the early 1900s and great-aunt of Rex).

The new state-of-the-art facility has immensely expanded the opportunities available to students in the BYU College of Nursing, thanks in part to Dean Ravert’s commitment to simulation training in nursing education, as well as a generous $4 million donation from the Fritz B. Burns Foundation. It also took tremendous support from the center’s supervisor Colleen Tingey, assistant teaching professor Debra Wing, and the devoted staff and student employees that work there!

Throughout the past academic year, over 12,000 student encounters have occurred in the NLC (where a nursing student has spent at least an hour using a lab). Students participated in simulations and lessons and experienced more extensive learning than would have been possible before the facility was remodeled and expanded last summer.

IMG_3544The fall semester brought a steep learning curve. Not only did faculty members need to learn where resources and materials were stored in the rooms, in some cases they had to learn how to use them (i.e., iPad tablets to control video feeds, microphones, televisions; touch-screen monitors to program manikin scenarios, etc.).

IMG_3331By the start of the winter semester, most of the networking and technology glitches were resolved. Faculty found new and better ways to instruct and utilize the materials in the labs. At times, their desire to develop unique learning opportunities pushed the capabilities of the manikin software and its manufacture had to develop solutions to resolve these types of situations.

The new area is a total of nearly 11,000 square feet, expanded 4,000 feet from the original center built in 2001 (it is still in the basement of the Spencer W. Kimball Tower, we just acquired space to the northeast). There are now six full-simulation rooms with high-fidelity manikins, four debriefing rooms, five exam rooms, a nine-bed skill lab, a four-bed walk-in lab, and two procedure training areas. Each area is flexible and can be reconfigured in a variety of ways according to class needs.

The NLC now also features the ability to video record faculty presentations and student interactions with manikins or standardized patients. The recordings are reviewed either individually or as a class during debriefing sessions. During these extensive debriefing sessions, students come to fully understand the simulations in which they are participating.

The NLC is a central and invaluable part of BYU’s nursing program. During the six program semesters, each nursing student completes at least 50 simulations in the center. Students are immersed in the simulated environment and have more room to practice skills, and enjoy more hands-on opportunities than ever before.

Watch a video depicting the NLC’s use in student learning:

Ravert’s Third Year Review: New Team of Professors


Professors (from left to right) Lyman, Thomas, Peterson, and McEwan

As we review the dean’s third-year accomplishments this week, we will look at the four new highly-qualified professors Dean Ravert brought to the College of Nursing for the 2014-2015 academic year: Dr. Bret Lyman, Michael Thomas, Dr. Neil Peterson, and Kevin McEwan.

Bret Lyman PhD, RN, CNE, teaches an ethics course and mentors capstone students. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Northern Colorado, focusing on nursing education and leadership in higher education.

Michael Thomas MS, NP-P, APRN, ANCC, currently teaches communication for nurses and psych/mental health nursing courses. He earned his master’s degree from the University of Utah as a psychiatric and mental health nurse practitioner.

Neil Peterson (BS ’07) PhD, APRN, ACNP-C, teaches a clinical practicum for acute and chronic illness in adults as well as a course on scholarly inquiry in nursing. He received his master’s as a family nurse practitioner, and post-masters certificate as an acute care nurse practitioner from the University of Virginia. He also completed his Ph.D. in nursing at the University of Virginia.

Kevin McEwan MSN, RN, NEA-BC, currently teaches courses focusing on gerontology nursing and caring for older adults. He also mentors capstone students. He received his master’s in nursing administration from the University of Phoenix.

These new professors demonstrate the caliber of individuals that make up the College of Nursing. It also shows the efforts Dean Ravert has put into making the college a leader in nursing education through the impressive individuals she recruits for the college.

While our focus was on last year, however, during her tenure as dean she has also hired Lacey Eden, Stacie Hunsaker, Craig Nuttall, Ryan Rasmussen, Gaye Ray, Dr. Karen Whitt, and Blaine Winters. Review past issues of our college magazine for brief bios on all of these great faculty members.

Ravert’s Third Year Review: Alumni Events and Networking

As we review the dean’s third-year accomplishments this week, we must include the expansion of alumni events and networking opportunities. Let’s highlight three activities that are growing in popularity:

2nd Annual Night of Nursing: A BYU Nursing Reunion in your Community

Night of Nursing Logo [Medium]In an effort to help nursing alumni across the country stay connected to the college while also learning of other nursing individuals in their own communities (for support and networking), the BYU College of Nursing alumni board offered the annual Night of Nursing: A BYU Nursing Reunion in your Community last March.

This event invited nursing alumni and friends to join in small groups around the nation to learn about current college happenings, network, and reminisce about university experiences. Locations included Utah (Provo, Orem, Sandy, Salt Lake City, North Salt Lake, Farmington), California (Orange County, Sacramento, San Diego), Nevada (Las Vegas, Henderson), Arizona (Phoenix, Mesa, Gilbert), Boise, Denver, Colorado Springs, Houston, Minneapolis, and Charlotte.

If you would like to host a small group in your home on March 3, 2016—send a message to If you would like to attend, visit (after January 20, 2016) to find a nursing reunion in your community.

Semi-annual Speed Networking Luncheon

In February the Alumni Board created a new networking opportunity for alumni and students—our “speed networking” version of Take a BYU Cougar to Lunch. Similar to “speed dating” where individuals rotate among other participants every few minutes, our luncheTACTL-Logo2on had alumni changing tables each course of the meal (about every 10 minutes).

This free event included 32 non-faculty alumni and 74 students. The luncheon was well-received and most had a great time (some did not want to rotate as they enjoyed visiting with each other so much). Plan now to attend our next event on campus, which will occur during Homecoming week on October 9 (RSVP to to participate).

Annual Alumni Board-sponsored Women’s Conference Luncheon

The College of Nursing alumni board sponsors a luncheon each year for alumni and friends of the college that are attending the first day of Women’s Conference. This activity allows participants to avoid long meal lines, enjoy a free lunch, and meet new nursing friends (or become reacquainted with past ones).

This year more than 105 alumni, students and friends had the chance to visit and chat with one another. We plan to do this again next year on April 28. Even if you are not attending the conference, but will be in the Provo area—please come and enjoy our company. Attendees also receive a unique college-logo promotional item as a gift for participating in the event.

A Few of Dean Ravert’s Third-year Accomplishments

deanravertDean and professor Patty Ravert is completing her third year in office this week. To celebrate Dr. Ravert’s leadership role, we will highlight some of the accomplishments she has made as dean this year. You should visit the blog every day this week for a brief story on the areas she has focused on to create a more influential and connected college.

This review series will also look at the Mary Jane Rawlinson Geertsen Nursing Learning Center’s first year of operation, past year college faculty hiring, implementation of alumni board events, and interaction with student learning.

First up in our Ravert Year-In-Review series are the numerous honors the dean has received this year.

In March, Mometrix Test Preparation released a listing of the 30 most influential nursing deans in the nation. Do you want to take a guess at who made the list? That’s right! Our very own Dean Ravert! Her work with simulation in nursing education combined with the high pass-rate of BYU undergraduate students taking the NCLEX-RN certification earned her the 19th slot on this prestigious list. You can see the full listing of influential deans at

Another landmark event for Dean Ravert was honored as the Alice Louis Reynolds Women-in-Scholarship Lecture Series recipient this year. Named in honor of the influential woman who worked tirelessly to build a truly impressive library at BYU, the lecture series features women in scholarship and their efforts. Being selected as this year’s awardee shows how incredible our Dean is, but we already knew that! Dean Ravert presented on the topics of Learning the Healer’s Art and Simulation in Nursing at the event held in early March.

NSNA-StellarChapterOne more impressive accomplishment for Dean Ravert was the college’s NSNA Stellar School Chapter Renewal (from the National Student Nurses’ Association). This award recognizes the excellence of the College of Nursing in categories related to school-wide participation in NSNA and BYU’s individual commitment to the professional development of its students and faculty. As one of only a couple dozen nursing schools to earn this recognition, this award truly sets the BYU College of Nursing apart as a leader in nursing education. Way to go, Dean Ravert!

Watch a recap video highlighting Dean Ravert’s prior year in office: