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Indiana University School of Nursing

The Pulse of Indiana Nursing

A joint publication of the Indiana University School of Nursing and the Indiana University School of Nursing Alumni Association
E-Volume 3: April 2018

Table of Contents
Revised BSN accelerated second degree track means students can earn nursing degree faster

Sleeve of nursing scrubsBeginning this summer, students with bachelor’s degrees in other fields will be able to earn a Bachelor’s in Nursing Science in less time through IU School of Nursing’s revised accelerated second degree track.

While the BSN accelerated second degree track mirrors the traditional Bachelor of Science in nursing track, the accelerated program was recently restructured to allow for completion in four semesters instead of five—saving students a full semester of time and tuition. At IUPUI, the shortened program will be offered for up to 40 students starting in May, with admission of cohorts every August, January and May. IU School of Nursing on the Bloomington campus received approval earlier this year to offer the BSN accelerated second degree track and is accepting applications for up to 20 students to start this fall.

In addition to the shortened timeframe for degree completion, the program’s revised admission requirements now allow students to apply for the BSN accelerated second degree track while they are completing their first bachelor’s degree. This offers students the opportunity to start the accelerated program with little delay following receipt of the first bachelor’s degree.

“The second degree track is ideal for students who have completed degrees in related fields like public health, psychology or one of the sciences and are looking to apply what they know in a well-paying career that’s in high demand,” said Susan Hendricks, EdD, MSN, RN, CNE, associate dean for undergraduate programs. “Because our nursing graduates typically have full-time jobs lined up before they graduate, this program gives a career edge to people with first degrees in fields where the job market is more restricted.”

Dr. Hendricks added that the accelerated second degree track is gaining popularity with informatics students thanks to a collaboration between IUSON and the IU School of Informatics, Computing and Engineering. Combining a nursing degree with a bachelor’s degree in health information management is enhancing marketability and increasing job opportunities for professionals trained in both fields. (Completing both degrees does extend the time to graduation.) The BSN accelerated second degree track also appeals to students who initially considered graduate health programs in medicine, dentistry, physical therapy or occupational therapy.

“We also have students who have been out in the working world for a while who aren’t satisfied with what they’re doing or just want to try something else,” Dr. Hendricks said. “Nursing continues to be a career that offers a lot of potential, flexibility and opportunities for growth.”

Centers help set IUSON's research agenda

With faculty researchers engaged in innovative ways to improve health and advance nursing education, IU School of Group of peopleNursing is home to four research centers of excellence:

  • Center for Enhancing Quality of Life in Chronic Illness (CEQL)
  • IU School of Nursing Champion Center for Cancer Control Research
  • Faculty Innovating for Nursing Education (FINE)
  • Research in Palliative and End-of-Life Communication and Training (RESPECT) Center

“The overall benefit of our centers is that they help to set the school’s research priorities and serve as a place for faculty and students to talk with experts and collaborate with like-minded people,” said Janet S. Carpenter, PhD, RN, FAAN, Distinguished Professor and associate dean for research. “What sets us apart is that we have centers for clinical research and for nursing education research, which is unique nationally.”

Dr. Carpenter added that in addition to distinguishing itself by its research portfolio, IUSON—and IU as a whole—is a leader in promoting intra-campus, interdisciplinary research, as evidenced by the school’s partnership with IU School of Medicine to support the RESPECT Center.

“Whenever we have visitors, they are usually surprised by the research collaboration that occurs at IU and that researchers are so willing and encouraged to work across disciplines. Collaboration across disciplines exists in all of our centers.”

In addition to the faculty expertise that drives the research, the success of IUSON’s centers would not be possible without school staff who provide essential support and serve as advocates for research initiatives.

Scope of IUSON’s research centers: A summary

Medication adherence made easier through a state-of-the-art pillbox. Reducing acute distress through music. Improving memory and cognition with computerized training. All of these are groundbreaking patient-centric interventions, and all are among the current research projects of the Center for Enhancing Quality of Life in Chronic Illness (CEQL). Established in 2000, the center focuses on developing and testing interventions to reduce symptoms, promote self-management and improve quality of life for people with chronic illnesses and family caregivers. With a goal to integrate cutting-edge technologies in research, CEQL aims to develop the next generation of nurse scientists to lead interdisciplinary teams in conducting high-impact studies that improve and enhance quality of life.

“We’ve always had a strong focus on measurement and intervention research that seeks to improve quality of life through behavior change,” said CEQL Director Susan Pressler, PhD, RN, FAAN, FAHA, professor and Sally Reahard Endowed Chair. “Our work is focused on going into the community to help people live better, healthier lives.”

Pursuing meaningful discoveries in the fight against cancer, IUSON’s Champion Center for Cancer Control Research expands the school’s long history of novel research discoveries in cancer prevention, early detection and survivorship. Named after Distinguished Professor Victoria Champion, PhD, RN, FAAN, the center includes 14 nursing faculty who address a wide variety of issues related to cancer, including screening for lung, cervical, breast and colorectal cancers; cancer symptom management; developing resilience in young adults with cancer; tobacco cessation; and blood glucose issues in cancer patients.

“Seventy-five percent of cancer mortality could be prevented if people are motivated to engage in behaviors that decrease the risk of developing the disease,” said Victoria Champion, PhD, RN, FAAN, Edward and Sarah Stam Cullipher Distinguished Professor, and center director. “This is where we as nurses can make tremendous impact.”

In addition to leading prevention and early detection, nurses are paving the way with cutting-edge symptom science. Eileen Hacker, PhD, APN, AOCN, FAAN, professor of science in nursing care, is testing individually tailored exercise interventions for patients with multiple myeloma undergoing bone marrow transplant whose lack of mobility can leave them at risk for muscle wasting. Researchers, including Diane Von Ah, PhD, RN, FAAN, associate professor, community & health systems, are developing interventions to help breast cancer survivors with cognitive impairment regain function.

Innovation and excellence in nursing education have been IUSON priorities since the school was founded in 1914. IU nursing faculty are leaders in developing and supporting best practices that lead to advancements in nursing education. To leverage and build upon these established strengths, in 2017 IUSON launched FINE—Faculty Innovating for Nursing Education—a collaborative center focusing on the four areas of nursing education excellence that currently exist at the school: educator preparation, educator development, scholarship and research in nursing education, and international education.

“The vision for FINE is to support faculty in their teaching and in their responsibility to prepare skilled nurses and future scholars, leaders and researchers in the field,” said Mary Fisher, PhD, RN, visiting professor and interim director of FINE. “Advocating for and promoting nursing education research also helps ensure we’re continuing to improve nursing practice by providing students’ the best possible education.”

A collaborative partnership led by the IU School of Nursing, the IU School of Medicine and IU Simon Cancer Center, the RESPECT Center focuses on supporting research and education in palliative care and end-of-life communication with patients who have serious disease that is life-threatening, debilitating or terminal. One of the center’s primary goals is to accelerate the development of innovative intervention research trials to support evidence-based practice. Although there are some research centers in the U.S. dedicated to palliative and end-of-life care, few focus on the critical issue of communication across the life span.

“For a long time, we have struggled with how best to provide high-quality care for people at the end of life,” said Susan Hickman, PhD, IUSON professor and RESPECT Center co-director. “There is growing evidence, as well as momentum, to try and do a better job of supporting people, both when they’re faced with serious illness and at the end of life. It’s a topic that’s traditionally been given little attention. However, over the past 20 years, there’s been a real shift in focus to how best to support patients of all ages through this universal experience.”

For more information about the IUSON research centers of excellence, visit

(Photo: Front row, L to R - Susan Pressler, Mary Fisher, Janet Carpenter, Victoria Champion. Back row, L to R: Richard Griffin, Joan Haase, Tiffany Fox, Andrea Boger, Angela Beeler, Susan Hickman, Barb Saligoe)

Like Grandmother, like mother, like daughter; The Hanesworth Family Legacy

By Rachel Leshinsky
Two women holding a picture frameMother-daughter relationships are special because they open the door to a lifelong bond of sharing memories and wisdom. However, the three generations of women in the Hanesworth family have an even more amazing connection; they are all Indiana University School of Nursing graduates.

Shari Hanesworth returned to school when she was 42 after a 25-year career as a hairstylist and graduated from IUSON in 1993. Hanesworth worked in community health for the entirety of her career. She was a nurse with the Indiana State Department of Health and gave immunizations to infants and pre-school aged kids, which were made possible through federally funded programs.

Stayce McClain – Shari’s daughter – feels that her mom set an amazing example, not just through her words, but also through her actions. She describes her mom as an inclusive, loving and compassionate woman and tries to embody those qualities every day.

“My mom was passionate about her work and cared about everyone no matter their race, color or socioeconomic background,” said Stayce. “As a kid, she would take me to a shelter on Thanksgiving to deliver meals to families. While the neighborhoods were a little intimidating, my fearless mom was inspired to give her time and help any way she could.”

Shari was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1999 and passed away in December of that year. After watching her mother battle cancer and impressed with the care she received, Stayce went on a mission trip to Haiti. There she witnessed the care children with severe burns were receiving. Stayce followed in her mother’s footsteps and started nursing school at the age of 37, earning her degree in 2009.

“After 17 years in human resources, I felt like it was my calling to become a nurse,” she said. “At school, I loved having one-on-one time with an assigned preceptor through the IUSON Practice Education Partnerships program. Through the program, you’re able to experience new things since that preceptor nurse works with you every day and knows your capabilities. It’s really instilled in you that you need to work as a team or someone will not receive the proper care – patients’ lives are at risk.”

Stayce’s career experience since graduating includes the emergency room and intensive care unit at IU Health University Hospital and St. Vincent Health, in addition to home hospice care. In December 2017, Stayce watched as her daughter Katelyn walked across the stage to accept her undergraduate nursing degree from IUSON.

“I love that we can share experiences. Since I recently went through the process of getting my degree it’s fresh in my memory and makes all of this very relevant,” said Stayce. “It is amazing to see Katelyn do so well since she struggled with school a bit as a kid. She accelerated to the top 30 of her high school class, maintained a high GPA throughout nursing school and graduated college with honors.”

During her time at IUSON, Katelyn was a transporter at Hendricks Regional Health and a technician at IU Health Methodist Hospital in the cardiac critical care unit. She enjoyed the accessibility to nearby hospitals and was able to learn a lot from clinical experience since it was a very hands-on learning opportunity.

“I feel like I have a really good knowledge base; I’m not sure I could be any more prepared academically,” said Katelyn. “I appreciate the exposure in the simulation labs, the ability to have interdisciplinary experiences, and the opportunity to take challenging classes that pushed me to my limit. The faculty were instrumental in preparing me and my classmates for the NCLEX-RN final exam.”

While in school, Katelyn would call her mom to talk about new concepts she was learning. She says that it’s nice to have such a close relationship with someone she knows so well and trusts so much.

“No one understands what it’s like until you’re in it. My mom and I have a strong bond that I’m really thankful for,” she said. “From the stories she has shared with me, I can tell my mom is a patient advocate and really thinks through treatment plans. We are the critical link between orders for a patient and the healthcare he or she will receive, so I want to make sure I’m being an advocate for my patients just like my mom.”

Upon graduation, she accepted a position as a registered nurse at IU Health Methodist Hospital in the ICU where she has always wanted to work.

“I’ve had nursing-support roles in hospitals for the past three years, but now I can actually start making decisions and playing a bigger part in building relationships with patients. I’m lucky to have my first job at a teaching hospital,” Katelyn said. “I truly feel like I’m continuing my grandmother’s legacy.”

(Photo Stayce McClain (L) and her daughter Katelyn holding a photo of Shari Hanesworth.)

Lighting the way for the next generation

When it comes to educational milestones, Susan Crane Kyle (BSN 1964) and Nate Wolfe have some things in 1940s nurse holding a candlecommon. Both graduated from Lebanon Senior High School, and when Nate graduates with a BSN in May 2018, both will be IU School of Nursing alumni. Celebrating these milestones 50-plus years apart, the two are connected in another way. Nate is the latest recipient of the Susan Crane Kyle Nursing Scholarship, established by the IUSON alumna in 2014 to provide financial support to undergraduate nursing students.

“We were very fortunate to be able to send our five children through many years of college and post-graduate education without them incurring any debt, which in this day and age is not common,” said Mrs. Kyle, who was featured, along with Nate, in then-and-now photographs in IUSON’s 2017 holiday card. “We’re in a position to help other deserving students by making it easier for them to get an education.”

Current day nurse holding a candleFor Nate, the one-year scholarship meant he could quit one of his part-time jobs and pay for his nursing school tuition without taking out additional loans. A student in IUSON’s BSN accelerated second degree track, Nate has a bachelor’s degree in biology from IU Bloomington, which he also financed through student loans, while working part time.

Mrs. Kyle and Nate had the opportunity to meet for lunch last fall in Indianapolis. In addition to talking about their dual alma maters, they talked about their shared interest in nursing.

"I was so impressed with him,” Mrs. Kyle said. “He’s such an outstanding young man, and I was happy to be able to make a difference in his last year of college.”

“It’s really incredible for Mrs. Kyle to offer this,” said Nate, who will begin a full-time job in cardiac critical care at IU Health Methodist Hospital in late spring. “Nursing school is expensive, and to take away the stress of paying for it allows me to focus on the important part of learning.”

Editor’s Note: In addition to the Susan Crane Kyle Nursing Scholarship, Mrs. Kyle and her husband, Michael Kyle, MD, an IU School of Medicine graduate, also support an IU scholarship for medical students interested in radiology.

(Photos: The 2017 holiday season card from IU School of Nursing.)

Faculty authors define nursing practice

U School of Nursing’s broad influence on nursing practice is evident in a myriad of ways, including the school’s Stack of text booksfaculty authorship of 110 first-edition books. Since the 1970s, 42 faculty and staff have contributed as lead authors to IUSON’s collective body of published titles, with additional faculty, students and alumni adding expertise to countless book chapters. Sixteen faculty-written texts have earned the prestigious American Journal of Nursing (AJN) Book of the Year Award.

“The potential for books to shape nursing practice is enormous, and when they are widely disseminated and used as textbooks in schools of nursing worldwide—as many of these books are—our impact as authors on the practice of nursing is phenomenal,” said Diane Billings, EdD, RN, FAAN, Chancellor’s Professor Emerita, and faculty author.

Through authored texts, IUSON faculty have defined the initial body of knowledge for several advanced practice nursing specialties, including forensic nursing, psychiatric nursing, emergency care nursing, nursing education, professional staff development, nursing leadership and management, patient quality and safety, management in health systems, use of information technology in nursing, and philanthropy.

“When a specialty is emerging, the first book that collects all the information about that particular field often helps define the scope of practice for new advanced practice roles,” explained faculty author Janet Fulton, PhD, RN, ACNS-BC, FAAN, associate dean for graduate programs. “IU School of Nursing faculty have written initial texts for several specialty fields of nursing.”

In addition, many texts authored by IUSON faculty through the years have served as the foundation for certification and competency exams.

“The fact that so many books have been written by the school’s faculty reflects our depth of expertise and illustrates the excellence of our faculty,” Dr. Fulton added.

Student's family tree and IUSON giving tree share the same branch

Two nursing studentsOn the phone between classes, Brianna Nyland just happened to glance up at IU School of Nursing’s wall-mounted giving tree, spotting instantly the name “Georgia Belle Nyland.” Seeing her last name on the plaque, Brianna never expected the giving tree would put her in touch with her family tree.

“I called my mom and asked her if we knew anyone named Georgia,” recalled Brianna, a first-year nursing student from Avon, Indiana. “My parents didn’t have a lot of information about her, but she was my great-great aunt.”

Interested in learning more, Brianna emailed IU School of Nursing administration and received in return details about Georgia Nyland, a native of Rochester, Indiana, who graduated from IUSON in 1942 and retired years later as director of nursing at IU Medical Center. She is recognized on the school’s giving tree for establishing an endowed scholarship fund in 1991. According to her obituary, Georgia Nyland also was a lobbyist and a legislative chairwoman for the Indiana Nursing Association and a delegate to the Governors White House Conference on Aging.

“It was so fascinating; I ended up researching her a little more and talked to my dad who was excited to hear about it because he remembers her helping him with school,” said Brianna. “It makes me proud knowing everything that she did and that she was here too.”

Learning that she has a relative who attended IU School of Nursing also provided some welcome perspective.

“Getting into nursing school was challenging, and for a while, I questioned if I would really get in,” Brianna said. “Hearing Georgia’s story, I realized I’m where I should be.”

(Photo: Brianna Nyland (R) and fellow classmate.)

I'm an IU Nurse: Patrick Robinson

By Rachel Leshinsky

IU School of Nursing Alumnus Dean Patrick Robinson Leads Conversation on Nursing EducationAlum Patrick Robinson

Curriculum in nursing schools is forever changing and expanding as new technology and techniques are created and integrated into health care practices. Indiana University School of Nursing alumnus and current dean of the School of Nursing and Health Sciences at Capella University Patrick Robinson, PhD, RN, FAAN, believes it’s important for nursing to remain accessible and as an educator and a leader he can help ensure that happens.

“We have to figure out ways for all students to be able to access resources while making sure nursing education remains innovative,” he said.

Robinson could not deny his passion for nursing from a young age. At 17 years, he worked as a nursing assistant at a local hospital and felt the caring and nurturing atmosphere was really special.

“While I was interested in arts and theater in high school, I decided in my freshman year that I wanted to pursue nursing,” Robinson said. “It’s in my blood – I was always around hospitals, my dad was a physician and my mom was a nurse.”

Many of his family members went to IU, so he was inspired to attend as well. He graduated from IUSON with his bachelor’s degree in 1990 and his master’s degree in 1993. During his time, he served as the president of the Student Nursing Association his junior year and formed bonds with the “wonderful, incredible faculty.” Retired assistant dean for clinical research Jan Beckstrand became an undergrad research mentor and invited Robinson to become a research assistant for her project on pediatric feeding tube measurements.

“It was an exciting time and my professors encouraged me that I was capable of so many things,” he said. “Doris Frobe embraced me, Victoria Champion told me to get my doctorate and Mary Fisher was an inspiring mentor."

After graduating, Robinson served on the IUSON Alumni Association Board and continues to stay connected with faculty members that helped him along the way.

By 1990, more than 300,000 cases of HIV/AIDS were reported in the United States and it was thought that 8-10 million people were living with the disease worldwide, according to Avert, an international HIV and AIDS organization.

“Many of my friends started to get sick and no one was quite sure why,” Robinson said. “It was a really frightening time; I had to keep asking myself, ‘what do I do?’”

As a nurse, Robinson felt he had the ability to respond and use his skills to help improve communication lines between health care professionals and patients about what was going on.

“It was never my intention to leave bedside care, but we had to go where people hadn’t gone before,” he said. “There were no experts yet on the disease, so we were just figuring it out together.”

Assistance came in August of 1990 when the Ryan White Comprehensive AIDS Resources Emergency Act was passed by Congress. Named in honor of Ryan White, an Indiana teenager who contracted AIDS through a tainted hemophilia treatment, the act funded the improvement of care available to low-income and uninsured people affected by HIV/AIDS. To this day, it is the largest federally funded program in the country for people living with the virus.

Marion County received some of this funding and Robinson started an outreach program at Wishard Memorial Hospital, known today as Eskenazi Hospital. As an HIV/AIDS care manager, clinical nurse specialist and director of the HIV/AIDS specialty clinic, he coordinated treatment, provided testing and primary care for patients and linked them to community services.

He is proud to have helped form the Indiana chapter of Association of Nurses in AIDS Care. He served as the national president of the organization and as an officer of the HIV/AIDS Nursing Certification Board. Among other awards from various institutions, IUSON has recognized Robinson with several accolades including the Frank Lamendola Memorial Award for exemplary leadership in HIV/AIDS care and named him one of the top 100 Alumni Legacy Leaders as part of the centennial anniversary in 2014. Robinson appreciates the achievements, but understands how important the work was that his team was doing at the time.

“We were teaching people how to efficiently manage the virus - it was an extraordinary opportunity,” he said. “After going through that experience, I know there will never be any more bad days at work.”

That experience led Robinson down the clinical nursing path and he went on to obtain his PhD in nursing science from Loyola University Chicago and complete a post-doctoral fellowship in biobehavioral nursing research at the University of Illinois at Chicago. He says he was exposed to nursing scientists and was inspired to emulate them.

“Smart people were doing creative things and the environment that surrounded me was exhilarating,” he said. “My doctoral work and post-doctoral fellowship prepared me for my faculty role. As a faculty member, I found I was interested in innovation and wanted a role in leading change. That desire led me into academic leadership.”

He held several roles in academia at Orbis Education, Chamberlain College of Nursing, University of Illinois at Chicago College of Nursing and the Niehoff School of Nursing at Loyola University Chicago before becoming the dean of the School of Nursing and Health Sciences at Capella.

Robinson says that he enjoys being in leadership roles because he is inspired to collaborate and push agendas, to bring power and ingenuity to the table and try to solve the question of “How do we reform higher education?”

Under his direction as the dean, the school has been able to create programs that respond to non-traditional students, receive accreditation and become one of the national leaders in competency-based direct assessment.

“I always wanted to be like Angela [McBride, IUSON dean from 1991-2003],” Robinson said. “I recognize that this is a privileged spot to be in; I am so pleased to have the opportunity to bring change and innovation to the field of nursing education.”

Dean Robin Newhouse and Gerri Lamb release new book exploring key issues in care coordination

Dean Newhouse standing in front of a posterDean Robin Newhouse, PhD, RN, NEA-BC, FAAN and Professor Gerri Lamb, PhD, RN, FAAN of Arizona State University co-authored “Care Coordination: A Blueprint for Action for RNs.” Published by the American Nurses Association, the recently released book explores key issues in care coordination and offers strategic steps that nurses should take to fully enact their important role.

“In the book, we address specific challenges nurses face and how to overcome the obstacles,” said Dean Newhouse. “We have provided critical resources to help nurses take practical and actionable steps that will make a difference in day-to-day nursing practice.”

“Care Coordination: A Blueprint for Action for RNs” is available for purchase on Amazon or Nursing World.


Did you know?

1940s nurse at a desk

Did you know that Indiana University Training School for Nurses had seven directors before it became the IU School of Nursing in 1957? Pictured here is Jean Coffey Webster, the fifth director who served from 1949-1953.

Calendar of Events

2018 >>
May 4th
Design and Innovation in Nursing, Healthcare, and Education
IUPUI Campus Center

May 6th - 12th
Nurse Appreciation Week

May 12th
Commencement, IUPUI

May 18th-19th
Alumni weekend
IUPUI Campus - many different on-campus locations

July 1st
Start of IUPUI's 50th Anniversary Celebration

August 20th
Induction Ceremony for incoming nursing students
Campus Center, Room 450

August 20th
Classes begin, IUPUI campus

September 12th - 15th
National League for Nursing (NLN) Conference in Chicago

September 22, 2018
10th Annual IUPUI Regatta

September 27th - 28th
IUSON Board of Advisors Meeting

IU School of Nursing logo

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Sally Krause,
Editor, Director of Marketing and Strategic Communication

Jill Jansen, writer

Janet McCully,
Director of Development

Andrea Simpson,
Assistant Vice Chancellor and Executive Director for Alumni Engagement