James Madison University

Nursing Newsletter for Alumni and Friends

March/April 2015

Dear Alumni and friends of JMU Nursing,

With the Spring weather arriving, we are reminded of what a special place JMU Nursing really is. Warmer days with budding trees and blooming flowers always seem to bring a new energy and liveliness to our devoted nursing students. While they are busy going to class, labs and clinical they continue to shine by receiving awards and recognition from the University, professional organizations and the community which we continue to share in our newsletters.

We have an extra reason to celebrate this season as we were ranked for the first time by US News and World Report this past month. Our Graduate Nursing Program is ranked nationally in the top 20% of nursing schools. The data collected and interpreted for the ranking is quite extensive and includes items such as quality and types of programs offered, qualifications of faculty, student successes and GPA scores. Part of our success is due to the fact that our programs have grown and become more diverse in the last decade to meet the needs of the healthcare market. Our upper nursing program enrollment has increased to 438 and we have 93 RN-BSN students in our highly successful online program. The MSN and DNP have a combined total of 83 students. We are truly proud of all the hard work, dedication and the collaborative efforts of so many that allow us to provide exceptional programs taught by knowledgeable and skilled faculty members. We remain committed to achieving excellence as our programs continue to evolve and grow.

We look forward to sharing our news in the future and would love to hear from you. Where did your nursing education take you? Please consider updating and sharing  your information by emailing Michele at dombrome@jmu.edu.

Best Wishes for a happy and healthy Spring!

Julie Sanford, DNS, RN
Professor and Head of Nursing
James Madison University
Harrisonburg, VA  22840

Professor Diane Babral

Diane Babral Scholarship Established

As many of you know we lost a dear colleague and professor in nursing recently, Diane Babral. Diane personified what it meant to be a caring, thoughtful, encouraging faculty member and was passionate about nursing, specifically psychiatric nursing. She was a strong advocate for our vulnerable mentally ill members of society. In memory of Professor Babral, JMU nursing students have established a scholarship for an undergraduate nursing student who is interested in pursuing psychiatric nursing. Click for featured story.


JMU nursing students make an impact at the VNSA State Convention in Charlottesville!

With almost 500 in attendance (180 from JMU) the event was filled with energy and excitement as students attended focus sessions covering a wide variety of healthcare topics.

HOLLY SANDSTONE was recognized as Student Nurse of the Year and MELISSA LEISEN won the Faculty Appreciation Award. JMU also won the Most Active Constituency Award with 1000 points! Four of our JMU students will serve on the new board of directors: AMY PROEITTI-FOX, TIANNA GROUIX, BRIANNA HALEY and MIRANDA WOODSEN. Professors MARIA DEVALPINE, KAREN JAGIELLO and JAMIE LEE all gave presentations.
Congratulations and thank you to all the students and faculty who represented JMU in a positive way and helped make the event succesful.  

Student and Faculty Updates

Sara Musa delivering 'baskets of love'

Junior Nursing Student Founds Nonprofit

Junior nursing student, SARA MUSA, founder of a nonprofit organization called Prospects In Mummy's Tummy International delivers "baskets of Love" to Howard University Hospital over spring break. read more

President Alger presenting Kendall Barger with the Woman of Distiction Award

KENDALL BARGER, a 4th semester BSN student,  recognized as a JMU WOMAN OF DISTINCTION!

President Alger presented Kendall with her award at the JMU Diversity Conference Monday, March 16th.
What is a woman of distinction read more

JMU/EMU students volunteering at the 'Suitcase Clinic'

Bringing Health Care in a "Suitcase Clinic"

MARGARET BAGNARDI, a professor of nursing at JMU, helps JMU and EMU nursing student volunteers triage the guests of the Open Doors program who have requested to see the clinician on site that evening. read more

Professor Julie Strunk

DR.JULIE STRUNK receives the Farrell Faculty Excellence in Research Award

This award is presented to the faculty member who excels in scholarship and is selected by the faculty.


President Alger, Professors Christine Argenbright and Margaret Bagnardi

Professors CHRISTINE ARGENBRIGHT and MARGARET BAGNARDI accept the IDEA grant award on behalf of the Department of Nursing Diversity Committee from President Alger at the JMU 2015 Diversity Conference.

Their "IDEA" proposal "Back to School Boot Camp"  consisited of a 3 day workshop aimed at helping high risk middle school age children build a foundation for future academic success. It was a collaborative effort involving middle school teachers, JMU nursing faculty and JMU nursing students.Topics explored ranged from time management, organizational skills and study habits to peer pressure and bullying. Other diversity committee members (not present) include professors LINDA SOBEL, KATHRYN FLOYD and the late DIANE BABRAL.

Dr. Patty Hale

DR. PATTY HALE, Graduate program director and Professor, receives the 2015 CHBS Faculty Award for Distinguished Service.

This award recognizes a faculty member who provides exceptional professional related services at the University, local and national levels.

Dr. Linda Hulton

DR. LINDA HULTON, DNP Program Coordinator and Professor, receives the Alger Family Faculty Award

resident Jonathan R. and Mrs. Mary Ann B. Alger established the Alger Family Faculty Award in August 2014. This endowment was established to support faculty in such endeavors as research, curriculum development, conference travel, and other professional development initiatives and presentation opportunities. In consultation with the Academic Council, it was decided that the award should recognize an exceptional faculty member who has demonstrated achievement in engaged learning, civic engagement or community engagement. More on awards

More Awards and Recognitions

The Provost Award for Excellence is presented each year to faculty and staff who have made extraordinary contributions to the University in a variety of areas. These include, but are not limited to, curriculum development, advising, external programs and research, community service, assessment of student learning, international experiences, ethical and moral development, and citizenship.

MSN PROGRAM receives Provost Award for Excellence in Assessment

DR. LINDA HULTON receives Provost Award for Excellence in Graduate Advising

The 2014 NP certification exam pass rate was 100%

Alum News

Teresa Noyes Burgess, RN, BSN, is retired after 27 years of nursing. The last 15 years she spent as a visiting nurse in York, PA. Teresa now lives in Philadelphia, volunteering at her church and looking forward to her daughter's upcoming wedding in 2016.

Paula (Reiss) Sherwood, RN, PhD, CNRN, FAAN,
Professor, Vice Chair of Research, Dept of Acute and Tertiary Care, School of Nursing
Professor, Dept of Neurological Surgery, School of Medicine
University of Pittsburgh
336 Victoria Bldg; 3500 Victoria St.
Pittsburgh, PA  15261
(412) 624-4802 (office)
(412) 383-7227 (fax)

To update and share your information email Michele @ dombrome@jmu.edu
nursingdept@jmu.edu  or  540-568-6314
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