Earned top ratings by US News & World Report for Online Learning


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This second year as a school was an amazing year of growth and success. The School of Nursing (SON) deans, faculty, staff, and students continue to be invigorated by the establishment of the school. We are recruiting high quality students and faculty, successfully and diligently implementing our business plan, and pursuing strategic opportunities. Here is a synopsis of SON top successes and some recent activities, an accreditation update, and two challenges facing nursing schools locally and nationally. SUCCESSES

The top achievements fiscal year to date include:  Earned top ratings by US News & World Report  Doubled student enrollment in the BSN program  Increased by nearly 30% the MSN student enrollment  Established new ADN-BSN/MSN program

 Launched rural Virginia primary care initiative  Developed three DNP specialty tracks

 Awarded external sponsored funding for four key initiatives  Embarked on international strategy

 Attained 110% of FY12 fundraising goal and more than $1,000,000 by April  Established Dean’s Advisory Council

 Attracted seven new outstanding faculty

 Recruited an Assistant Dean for Strategic Management Here is additional information about these successes:

 Earned top ratings by US News & World Report for Online Learning Recognized as an “honor roll” school for graduate education in

nursing, GW is one of just five schools of nursing to earn this. Our graduate online programs ranked #1 for Faculty Credentials and Training out of 39 ranked programs; #5 for Admissions Selectivity out of 27 ranked programs; #6 for Teaching Practices

and Student Engagement out of 82 ranked programs; and, #17 for Student Services and Technology out of 79 ranked programs.

These ratings complement the school’s U.S. News & World Report ranking among the nation’s top 50 schools of nursing, out of a total of 465 ranked schools and the more than 730 schools offering undergraduate and/or graduate degree programs. This puts the GW School of Nursing in the top 10% of ranked nursing schools and top 7% of all nursing schools.


Spring/Summer 2012



 Significantly increased student enrollment

The SON doubled student enrollment in the BSN program, admitting more than 70 students this year. In the coming academic year, we will again increase the class size (to 108) by having two admissions cycles—one in spring and one in fall. The first class to take the national licensure exam—the NCLEX—had a 100% pass rate. The second class is just completing the exam, so far 35 of 37 students have taken and passed the exam, and we are shooting for another 100% pass rate. The BSN program director is Dr. Joyce Hahn.

Enrollment in the graduate programs increased by nearly 30%, with the greatest increase in the adult and family nurse practitioner MSN programs.  Established new ADN-MSN program

Access to primary care is a national health care issue. In response, the SON established a new associate degree (ADN) to bachelor’s (BSN)/master’s (MSN) degree program, with two track options: family nurse practitioner and nurse-midwifery. The nurse-midwifery concentration is a collaboration with

Shenandoah University. Enrollment is underway for this fall, and Senior Associate Dean Ellen Dawson was the lead faculty in creating this new degree program.

The program targets entry-level nurses in rural and underserved communities, and will have a tangible impact. Educating just four new nurse practitioners will create approximately 20,000 new primary care visits a year.

The program is especially accessible to nurses in rural areas where local educational opportunities are usually limited. Students will complete their coursework through distance education and their clinical preceptorships in their local communities, with site visits from GW faculty. Students may exit the program midway with a bachelor's (BSN) degree. This option was designed to provide students with an academic credential option in the event “life happens” and to help hospitals meet their requirements for BSN-educated nurses.

 Launched rural Virginia primary care initiative

The SON has a new and innovative partnership with Dabney S. Lancaster Community College (DSLCC) to improve primary care access in rural Virginia. This partnership came about by the SON deans looking at the Virginia counties with medically underserved communities and the community colleges in those areas. DSLCC has a strong associate degree of nursing program, is located near several health care provider shortage areas (HSPAs), between two of the state’s seven critical access hospitals, and there are no obstetrics/gynecologist physicians practicing at these hospitals or in these communities. GW and DSLCC are creating a cohort initiative for GW’s new ADN-MSN program.

This program will have a tangible affect in rural Virginia, increasing the capacity for a significant number of new primary care visits a year. Plus, the program will bring critically needed midwifery to the community and hospitals, which is



particularly important since no obstetric/gynecology physicians practice in this geographic area.

As part of the initiative, students can complete program prerequisites at DSLCC. Upon entering the master's program through GW, students will complete

coursework online, GW nursing faculty will mentor students and conduct site visits, and students’ clinical preceptorships will be in their home communities. Senator Robert Deeds and Virginia Secretary of Education Laura Fornash

attended the GW-DSLCC agreement signing event in April. Secretary Fornash spoke from the dais about the importance of this initiative. This innovative partnership and rural initiative can be a model for the country.

 Developed three DNP tracks in response to national healthcare needs In response to national and local healthcare needs, the SON launched three new DNP specialty tracks. Dr. Christine Pintz is the director of DNP program. 1. Palliative care track: addresses the increasing need for this nursing expertise

due to the aging of the American population, increasing number of individuals with multiple chronic illnesses, and improved treatments for major illnesses and traumatic injuries—all of which are increasing the longevity and complexity of care for these individuals.

2. Health care quality track: focuses on quality and patient safety leadership, management, and research, in response to the expanding need for this nursing expertise in health care organizations.

3. Advanced family nurse practitioner track: responds to the escalating primary care needs of patients, families, and communities.

 Awarded external sponsored-funding for four major initiatives

1. $655,000 grant from the US Department of Health and Human Services’ Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) for our Teaching and Informing through Technology (T3) project addressing nursing education practice, quality, and retention. The lead faculty on this project are Dr. Laurie Posey and Dean Jean Johnson.

2. $200,000 grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to support the continued operations of the national Nursing Alliance for Quality Care hosted by GW SON. The principal faculty on this initiative are Drs. Nancy Falk and Mary Jean Schumann

3. $89,000 grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to fund Dean Jean Johnson to define a national program that would support increasing the number of Bachelor prepared nurses. Dean Jean Johnson is the lead faculty on this project.



4. $49,000 grant from U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) to fund a symposium

conference on patient engagement. Principal faculty on this initiative are Drs. Nancy Falk and Mary Jean Schumann.

 Embarked on international strategy

The SON embarked on its international strategy, encouraging faculty to pursue international opportunities and developing opportunities for our students. Here is an overview of four key international activities so far this year:


Haiti: In March, Assistant Professor Carol Lang led a group of students in an interdisciplinary remote medical mission with Project Medishare and GW University. The SON group

included two BSN and one MSN student. The academic purpose of the mission was to create an international community and public health learning experience for SON students offering an opportunity to learn and serve in one of the most medically

undersourced and underserved areas in the world.

During this one-week mission, students worked with community health workers and visited patients in their own homes to monitor progress of chronic disease. Students

conducted screenings for heart disease, diabetes, blood pressure, intestinal parasites, malaria,

tuberculosis, cholera, tetanus, and HIV in make shift clinics in remote rural villages. Students presented

health lessons to children on topics such as brushing teeth, nutrition, and handwashing. Students also collected data to identify specific health problems and for use by future students to develop sustainable programs in health promotion and education in Haiti. Future missions are being planned.



2. Nicaragua: Last fall, SON Instructor and Inova clinical nurse specialist Jackie Wavelet participated in a mission to Nicaragua as part of Operation

Walk Virginia, a volunteer team of orthopedic surgeons, nurses, and other healthcare professionals who provide free surgeries to individuals with debilitating bone and joint conditions in developing countries. The team organized and shipped 300 boxes of supplies, because a major challenge is the lack of equipment in the hospital and for the patients’ use outside the hospital. In partnership with a Nicaraguan hospital, the team screened potential candidates for surgery, performed about 12

surgeries each day for a week, and provided local surgeons and nurses instruction in performing the follow-up surgeries and recovery care. Prior to surgery, the conditions of these patients are much worse than in here in the U.S. where

preventive and early intervention measures help keep patients’ conditions from getting so bad.

3. Singapore: Earlier this year, Dr. Joyce Pulcini joined GW SON as professor and Director of Community and Global Initiatives. In March, she conducted an onsite consultation with the National University of Singapore Alice Lee Centre for Nursing Studies (ALCNS), a distinguished and the only degree-granting school of nursing in Singapore. The ALCNS new pediatric advanced

practice nursing masters’ program was the focus of the consultation, during which Dr. Pulcini provided recommendations to improve the curricula and support the faculty teaching in this new specialty area. She also gave three presentations on the evolving role of advanced practice nurses internationally; visited two pediatric hospitals and met with nursing leaders and pediatricians; and, met with the Chief Nursing Officer of the Ministry of Health in Singapore. GW SON has been asked to continue consulting with ALCNS and a return site visit is being planned for next year.

4. United Arab Emirates (UAE): In March, Dean Johnson was a guest of Fatima College of Health Sciences—which is supported by and named for Her Highness Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak Al-Katabi, Mother of the United Arab



Emirates, Supreme Chairwoman of the Family Development Foundation, Head of the General Women's Union, President of the General Federation of Women, and President of the Arab Women's Organization.

Dr. Johnson was keynote speaker at the college’s inaugural International Conference on Nursing, which was attended by more than 500 scholars and dignitaries. Dr. Johnson also met with the college’s leadership to discuss opportunities for student exchanges, faculty development opportunities, and GW SON consultation about skills and simulation center design and

utilization. Also, during a luncheon at the Sheika’s palace, Dr. Johnson discussed healthcare issues with the wife of the crown prince and other high-powered women in UAE.

 Attained 110% of FY12 philanthropic goal

The SON has already exceeded its fiscal year philanthropic goal, bringing in more than $1,000,000. The School appreciates all its donors and their thoughtful gifts to support scholarships and other activities.

In particular, the School is pleased to acknowledge three major gifts received this year:

Frances Marie Weiss (1885-1978)

trained as a nurse and practiced in rural western Iowa. A loving memorial endowment in her name was established through a

thoughtful six figure gift from her niece, Annetta Weiss, an alumna of the GW University Columbian College of Arts and Sciences.

Ms. Weiss also generously gave a second major six figure gift to establish an endowed

scholarship in her name as well. A special luncheon was held to celebrate the establishment of these two important endowments—the first endowed gifts given to the new SON.

Also, the Hearst Foundation selected the SON for an award that funds scholarships for the undergraduate program.

 Established the Dean’s Advisory Council

The SON Dean’s Advisory Council will have its inaugural meeting on May 18. The Council charge is to build and enhance relationships with individuals and organizations locally, nationally, and internationally; engage in philanthropic endeavors; and, serve in an advisory capacity. Chaired by Kimberly Russo, GW Hospital COO, the council comprises individuals with unique experience,

independent judgment, and external perspectives on a range of matters. Also, Council members committed to making the SON a top philanthropic priority.



 Attracted outstanding faculty and on target to meet tenure track ratio To support the expansion plan presented in the SON business plan and to meet the Faculty Code tenure track ratio per the schedule set by the Faculty Senate, the SON continues to recruit new outstanding faculty. Seven fulltime faculty were hired this year: Linda Cassar, MSN, BSN, Clinical Education Instructor; Kristen Caulfield, MSN, RN, Clinical Instructor; JoAnn Conroy, MSN, RN, Clinical Education Instructor; Mayri Sagady Leslie, EdD, MSN, CNM, Assistant Professor; Joyce Pulcini, PhD, RN, PNP-BC, FAAN, Professor and Director of Community & Global Initiatives; Jacqueline Wavelet, MSN, ACNS-BS, CNL, Clinical Education Instructor; and, Erin Yeagley, DNP, FNP-BC, RN, Assistant Professor.

 Recruited an Assistant Dean for Strategic Management As Assistant Dean for Strategic Management,

Ms. Ronna Halbgewachs has contributed to many of the SON accomplishments to date. She is leading the development and execution of SON marketing,

communications, development and alumni relations; coordinating our strategic visioning and planning, working with the Dean’s Advisory Council and GW Board of Trustees, and, she is engaged in the creation of new SON programs. Concurrently,

Ms. Halbgewachs serves as an Assistant Dean for the School of Public Health and Health Services. Prior to joining SON and SPHHS, she was Assistant Vice

President for Planning and Health Affairs in the GW Medical Center. In that role, Ms. Halbgewachs was instrumental in establishing the new School of Nursing and its transition to school status. Among her many other

accomplishments was leading the multidisciplinary team grant application process for a $15 million NH award—the largest NIH grant in the University’s history—to renovate Ross Hall and create a modern research complex. She is a member of the GW President’s Council for Diversity and Inclusion, and chair its HR Advisory to Human Resources Committee. She has more than 20 years of management and leadership experience, is involved in myriad civic activities, and earned a BA at the College of Wooster, an MA at Georgetown, an MBA here at GW, and is now pursuing a doctoral degree in human and organizational learning.


Commencement weekend was exciting and busy as our doctoral students presented their capstone projects, our masters students completed their test-out, and students, faculty, and staff participated in the various graduation celebrations.



The SON was proud to have Trustee Ellen Zane as its commencement speaker this year. Mrs. Zane is a nationally renowned health care leader who recently retired as President and Chief Executive Officer of Tufts Medical Center and the Floating Hospital for Children. Mrs. Zane was the first woman to run the Tufts Medical Center in its 215-year history, and in this role she was tasked with the challenge of improving the hospital’s finances after the system experienced losses of more than $250 million. Mrs. Zane remains highly involved at Tufts Medical Center as vice chair of the Board of Trustees, strategic advisor, and fundraising advocate.

At the School of Nursing graduation ceremony, she spoke about the importance of nursing, nurses as leaders, and making a difference in our nation’s systems. During the School’s graduation ceremony, the following awards were presented:

Alumni Association Award: Lamin Jawara, DNP

This award is given to a graduation student for commitment to the University and its community, academic and extracurricular

accomplishments, and leadership.

Outstanding Student Awards: Lauren McCausland, BSN

Jennifer Fleming, MSN

Susan Campbell, DNP

These awards are given to students exemplifying excellence in academics, service, and leadership.

Award of Excellence: EllenZane, MA

Trustee, George Washington University

Given in recognition of Mrs. Zane’s leadership in healthcare. Award of Excellence: Elizabeth Usher

Assistant Vice President (retired)

National Committee for Quality Assurance

Given in recognition of Ms. Usher’s leadership in improving health care quality.

Award of Excellence: Ellen Dawson, PhD, RN, ANP

Senior Associate Dean, Academic Affairs GW School of Nursing



 Hosted “Nursing Leadership in ACOs: Opportunities, Challenges, and Strategies”

In April, the Nursing Alliance for Quality Care, which is hosted by GW SON, and the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners partnered on a well attended symposium addressing the important opportunities and challenges for nurses in the creation and implementation of Accountable Care Organizations.

 Participated in VSTC Science, Technology & Engineering Day

Eleven SON BSN students hosted twelve Loudoun County Public School Students, providing them with an interactive experience in the school’s nursing skills and simulation center. The students had hands-on experiences with life-like manikins and the latest computer technology to demonstrate task training and simulate patient care. The high school students learned how technology plays a pivotal role in educating nurses. Skills and Simulation Lab Director and Instructor Patricia Davis, MSN, RN-C led this major VSTC event.  Participated in the Clinton Global Initiative University (CGUI)

SON was honored to participate in this GW-hosted event and proud that DNP student Ginger Pesata was selected as a student participant. Ms. Pesata joined more than 1,000 students from all 50 states and 82 countries in a marathon weekend convened to build on their ambitions to change something for the better.

The students joined Bill Clinton, Usher, Madeleine Albright, Jon Stewart, and some of the world’s foremost social entrepreneurs for a weekend of networking and participation in a massive global service project.

To attend, students had to pitch a “Commitment to Action” addressing a problem as close as the other side of their campus or as far away as the other side of the world. Ms. Pesata’s “Commitment to Action” is assisting the effort of the World Health Organization and other agencies to reduce deaths in children under five years of age by implementing an educational campaign to reach community health care workers and providers in Rwanda about the signs and



treatments of pneumonia and to provide basic treatment and referral plans to place children with pneumonia in care. Pneumonia is the number one killer of children. Ms. Pesata described her CGUI experience as truly life changing.

Also participating were three SON faculty members appointed by the Office of the Provost/EVPAA to serve on the CGUI Faculty Advisory Committee: Senior Associate Dean Ellen Dawson; Associate Professor and Masters Program Director Stephanie Wright; and

Assistant Professor and Director of the National Collaborative on Aging Kimberly Acquaviva.

 Participated in GW’s 17th Annual Health and Medicine Research Day The SON was proud of its faculty who presented the following study posters during GW Research Day:

Linda Briggs, DNP-BC, ACNP-BC, Assistant Professor

Poster: The role of breast artery calcification detection in the prevention and detection of coronary artery disease in women

Mary Sagady Leslie, CNM, MSN, EdD, Visiting Instructor

Poster: How individual providers change practice: A grounded theory study of maternity care practitioners and delayed cord cutting

Beverly Lunsford, PhD, RN, Associate Research Professor

Poster: Interdisciplinary geriatrics education using a palliative care framework

Joyce Pulcini, PhD, Professor

Poster: School nurses and primary care providers: Collaborating to improve asthma self-management in school aged children

Mary Jean Schumann, DNP, MBA, MSN, BSN, Assistant Research Professor

Poster: Measuring improvement in pediatric pain: Modification of a pediatric measure to capture pain reduction

Also, the SON was pleased to present DNP student Lamin Juwara with the

School of Nursing Research Award for his outstanding research project, “Compassion Fatigue among Oncology Nurses,” and to have Senior Associate Dean Ellen Dawson serve as a moderator.



 Participating in GW sustainability initiative

The SON is pursuing a range of activities that support University’s sustainability initiative. Here is an overview of five activities:

1. Graduate SON courses are delivered in a sustainable way—as online programs, which support sustainability as students do not commute to onsite classes, therefore reducing gasoline usage and emissions.

2. SON is conducting funded research and piloting hybrid delivery of in an undergraduate program—that is, teaching courses with a combined onsite and online format. From a sustainability perspective, the online component reduces gasoline usage and emissions. Lead faculty on this project Dean Jean Johnson and Assistant Professor and Director of Instructional Design Laurie Posey.

3. The SON and its faculty, staff, and students participated in International Earth Hour on March 31. We joined the GW University community and millions of people around the world to raise awareness about climate change by doing something quite simple—we turned off the lights for one hour at both SON campus locations and at our homes. This symbolically and tangibly helped make a difference.

4. SON faculty and staff participated in a special gathering with Dr. Eileen O’Grady, a certified nurse practitioner and wellness coach, who presented the interactive session: “Generosity Toward the Self: A Workshop on Caring for and about Yourself.” This activity is linked to the social wellness aspect of sustainability.

5. Three SON courses being reviewed for possible GW University Green Leaf designation—that is, as courses addressing sustainability issues and available to students pursing the pan-university sustainability minor.  Website migration and redesign

The SON completed its website migration to Drupal, the University’s new website platform. As part of this, SON website content was refined and expanded, and the layout was redesigned. The leads on this major endeavor were Assistant Dean Ronna Halbgewachs and Assistant Professor and Director of Instructional Design Laurie Posey.

 Second Clinical Skills and Simulation Center opening this summer A second 3,300 SF nursing skills and simulation center is in design and will open this summer at the Virginia Science and Technology Campus. This new SON facility will expand pediatrics simulation, add a gerontology studio

apartment to teach student nurses how to better provide home care, and provide an additional ten patient beds and simulation manikins. Also, the new



center will house a health and wellness space to be utilized for future

community service and health screening programs. This new learning lab is being built to support the increasing enrollment and next year’s spring enrollment in the BSN program.

 Strategic visioning and planning is underway

The SON conducted an all faculty retreat and utilized a collective, sharing process to encourage and obtain faculty input about the future of the school. The faculty offered a range of creative ideas. We had important conversations and discussed myriad opportunities. The information from this retreat is helpful as we think about the future of the SON and develop our strategic vision and plan, and the school will conduct another faculty retreat this summer. Also, the SON is participating in the University strategic planning process. As the SON develops its strategic plan, it will be aligned with the priorities and key

initiatives of the University.

 Transition to the three-dean model

The SON, SPHHS, and SMHS deans continue to negotiate and work to

disengage the medical center infrastructure. Space, Himmelfarb library, and the role of the interim vice president for health affairs in light of the new three-dean model continue to be topics of discussion. The SON migration from Groupwise to the university email system is complete.

 New location at Foggy Bottom campus

To accommodate space needs of the School of Medicine and Health Sciences, the SON is moving from the Hospital 6th Floor to leased space at 2030 M Street. The move is slated to occur by the end of this fiscal year.


 Fully accredited by Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education

The SON degree programs are fully accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE), the academic accrediting body for nursing

educational programs. In 2010, the CCNE accredited all of the programs in the then new SON. The CCNE has a five-year accreditation cycle.

 Fully reaccredited by DC Board of Nursing in January 2012

For accreditation renewal by the District of Columbia Board of Nursing, a SON self-evaluation report was submitted in December. The DC Board of Nursing notified the SON in January that full reaccreditation was awarded to the school.  Preapproved accreditation and site visit by VA Board of Nursing

When the SON began offering the BSN program at the Virginia Science and Technology campus, the Commonwealth of Virginia Board of Nursing awarded the SON preapproved accreditation. In April, the VA Board of Nursing



conducted a two-day site visit at VSTC. Preliminary feedback was positive, and the formal report will be received in a few months.


 Faculty recruitment is a national challenge for nursing schools As are all nursing schools across the country, the SON faces challenges in

faculty recruitment. Critical issues facing nursing schools are the limited pool of doctorally prepared faculty and finding faculty with the right specialty mix, as reported by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing. Another national challenge is limited diversity within the small pool of doctorally prepared


 Increasing competition for clinical site placements

With the major expansion of the BSN program, as presented in the SON

business plan, increasing the number of clinical site placements for our students is a challenge. GW SON has well-established relationships and agreements with many clinical sites. However, few new clinical sites are being added in the greater metropolitan area and there is increased competition for the limited new sites due to the growing number of for-profit nursing degree programs offered in the area.


As evinced in this report, the GW School of Nursing had a tremendously successful second year. Unbound by tradition, the School embraces innovation by pushing the cutting edge of nursing practice and education to provide our students with a deep appreciation for compassionate and high quality health care. Our faculty are

exceptional educators who understand the complex world of healthcare and build on the intersection of patient care, research, and policy. We value lifelong learning, and our students are advancing nursing practice, leadership, and learning—they are prepared to make a difference in the world.





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