James Madison University

Nursing Newsletter for Alumni and Friends

April/May 2016

Letter From The Director

I hope this newsletter finds you enjoying your spring and the lovely flowers that are in full bloom!  We love this time of year for many reasons, but one of the most important is that we get to celebrate with our students as they complete their studies at James Madison University. We have talented and hardworking graduates who have accomplished much. This Spring 2016 class is particularly special as they are the first to graduate under our new School of Nursing designation. Our graduates continue to be sought after by employers with employment rates at six months ranging from an impressive 95-100%. We enjoyed a meaningful nursing convocation on Friday, May 6th, the first to be held in the JMU Convo Center, as we had outgrown the Festival Center Ballroom. All of the graduation ceremonies and festivities were so exciting and meaningful for us all as we recognized our outstanding graduates. Please see the story in this newsletter for further details to this exciting ceremony.  

At JMU’s School of Nursing, we stand ready to take action on emerging public health care challenges. On April 29th, I had the honor of representing our School at the White House which held a Champions of Change for Prevention, Treatment, and Recovery event in Washington, DC. The event recognized ten “Champions” who have made a difference in their communities in fighting opioid substance abuse. It also highlighted the commitment made by American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) member schools of nursing who pledged to teach APRN students the new CDC guidelines on prescribing opioids for chronic pain. Opioid overuse has become extensive in the last decade negatively affecting individuals, their families, and our communities. Deborah Trautman, PhD, RN, FAAN, President and chief Executive Officer of AACN, spoke as our national leader and recognized three representative schools in attendance, of which JMU School of Nursing was one. I am happy to say our faculty are fully prepared and dedicated to educating our APRN students on the CDC guidelines.

We also say a fond farewell to Burruss Hall this year and look forward to being in the new Health and Behavioral Studies building in the fall. Our move will take place over the summer and we will be fully operational for the incoming students. The new building is located next to the Student Success Center and will house Communication Sciences and Disorders, Health Sciences, Nursing and Social Work, as well as the Dean’s office. If you are on campus this fall, please stop in and say hello. Take a look or check out the progress of our New Building. I promise you will be impressed!
I hope you all have a wonderful summer!  Our next newsletter will be distributed when we return for the fall semester. I wish you all much happiness and good health!
Julie Sanford, DNS, RN
Professor and Director
School of Nursing


Amanda RiveraJMU Alumna Will Knock You Out
By: Brett Seekford
Amanda Rivera (08) is probably hard to miss at MedStar Washington Hospital Center. Her position as a nurse anesthetist comes with great responsibility, as she works with surgeons and anesthesiologists to decide the best anesthetic to use for specific patients. Read more.


Katie Ruefer and Torey (Russel) Murray Present on MBI
"Impacts of Nursing Education on Mucosal Barrier Injury in Inpatient Hematology/Oncology"  is the title of the poster the two alums presented at the ASMBT Conference in Honolulu in February. They then went on to San Antonio for a podium presentation in April. The research was done as part of a multi-disciplinary study taking place on their unit (oncology/hematology) at UVA, to see how to treat and prevent MBI and related sepsis. Further study is scheduled to take place with funding from the Emily Couric Cancer Center at UVA that will involve IRB approval. "It has been amazing to be actively involved in a project like this with many of our attendings so quickly in our careers", said Katie.
Lindsey Grizzard, BSN 2015, was awarded Novice Nurse of the Year at VCU Trauma Center.

Convocation Awards and Recognitions Spring 2016

graduation capJMU's Convocation Center proved to be a great location for the Nursing Convocation held on the morning of May 6th this year. Graduates were relieved when they did not have to limit the number of attendees who could take part in this special celebration. The stands were filled with proud and excited parents, family and friends as 92 BSN, 37 RN-BSN, and 21 MSN  students were recognized during the pinning and hooding ceremonies. Afterwards there were many congratulations, hugs, tears , pictures and goodbyes as the new graduates prepare for the next chapter in their lives. To see more pictures go to our JMU School of Nursing Facebook Page!

 Jessica Sprouse
Merck Scholar Award

This Award is given to the undergraduate nursing student who has achieved the highest cumulative GPA. The recipient of this award was Jessica Sprouse. Jessica has accepted a position at Sentara RMH Medical Center in Harrisonburg, VA.

 Tiffany Washington
Marcia Dake Rockingham Memorial Hospital Award for Excellence in Clinical Practice

This Award is chosen by faculty and was given to Tiffany Washington. Tiffany will be working on the Medical Oncology Unit at Sentara Obici Hospital in Suffolk, VA.

Amy Proietti-Fox
Outstanding Undergraduate Senior Peer Award

This Award is given to a student who is nominated by the senior class and then chosen by a vote of the class. This year's recipient was Amy Proietti-Fox. Amy will be working at VCU Medical Center in Richmond, VA.

 Talia Startsman
Victoria Alcantara Outstanding Undergraduate Student Award

This is the highest undergraduate student honor. Faculty members select a student who demonstrates excellence in promoting the profession of nursing, actively pursues knowledge, is involved in the university and the community, and exemplifies caring in their nursing practice. This award was presented to Talia Startsman. Talia has accepted a position with the Medical Intensive Care Unit at Medstar Georgetown University Hospital.

Honors Program Recognizes Four

The honors program at JMU is an academic community that engages highly motivated and intellectually gifted students in exceptional experiences that develop excellence in leadership, scholarship, and service.This year's students are Sara Greco- who is planning to enroll in a nurse residency program in the southeast United States, Catherine Herron- who will be working with the pediatric population in the Delaware area , Alexandra Mason- who will be working at Georgetown University Hospital in Washinton, DC., and  Erica Reighard- who has accepted a position with the Children's National Medical Center in Washington, DC in the Cardiac ICU.

Elizabeth Chang and Heather Sims were recognized as ROTC graduates. These graduates have made a commitment to the armed forces and to serve our country. The additional rigors of the ROTC experience promote excellence in leadership for these graduates.

Lauri Taylor
Outstanding Graduate Leadership Award

This award is presented to a student who excels in academic and clinical performance, service and leadership, and innovation. Chosen by the faculty,this year's recipient is Laurie Taylor.

 Kelsey Cooper
School of Nursing Award for Excellence in Nursing Practice

This award, voted on by the faculty, is presented to a graduate who demonstrates clinical excellence and is compassionate, caring, and respects human dignity. This year's recipient is Kelsey Cooper.

RN-BSN Awards
The RN-BSN Scholar Award went Matthew  Wayner for having the highest GPA and outstanding academic performance.
The Outstanding RN-BSN Peer Award which is nominated by the class and chosen by a vote went to Joslin Hultzapple.

Student and Faculty News

Diane Babral 5K5K Hosted to Honor Late Professor
By: Dina Manco
On March 19, faculty and student organizations such as the local chapter of the Sigma Theta Tau Nursing Honor Society, NSA, and the Student Advisory Council collaborated to host a 5K with around 100 participants. Read more.


Nicole RossiHonor Student, Nicole Rossi, Showcases Student-Athlete Experience
Every student-athlete knows all too well the nuanced art that is juggling academics and athletics. Senior track high jumper Nicole Rossi may just be the exception to that rule. Read more.


Nurses Without Borders group pictureStudents Start Chapter of NSWB
By: Daniel Vieth
This spring, students from JMU's School of Nursing started their own chapter of Nursing Students Without Borders (NSWB) under the leadership of Magdalena "Maggie" Rhea (16). Read more.

Dr. Julie Sanford, Elected To Prestigious AACN Committee
Washington, D.C., February 5, 2016- The American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) is pleased to announce the results of its 2016 election to fill seats on the AACN Board of Directors and Nominating Committee. Read more.

Dr. Christina LamCogratulations to "Dr. Christina Lam"!
Christina successfully defended her PhD dissertation this past April at Villanova University. Dr. Lam serves as the BSN Coordinator for the JMU School of Nursing.

Karen JagielloNursing Faculty Earns Scholarship
By: Daniel Vieth
Karen Jagiello, an assistant professor in the JMU School of Nursing, was recently selected to be a Jonas Scholar 2016-2018 for her role in promoting nursing leadership. Read more.

Dr. Linda SobelDr. Sobel Receives DEAP AWARD
Professor Linda Sobel, PhD, RN, was the recipient of a Diversity Enhancement Award. DEAP Awards recognize individuals and units that have demonstrated a significant commitment to enhance diversity at James Madison University.

JMU School of Nursing employment opportunities.

To update and share your information email Michele: dombrome@jmu.edu

nursingdept@jmu.edu | (540)568-6314