Archive for April 28, 2015

National Nursing Legend Verdelle Bellamy Passes Away

bellamyA national nursing icon and Georgia nursing leader, Verdelle Bellamy died on April 22. She was 88.

Bellamy was known as a pioneer in the nursing profession. She was one of the first two African American students to graduate from Emory University in 1963, where she earned a master’s degree in nursing from the Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing.

Bellamy was a nationally-recognized nursing leader in veteran health care. In addition to integrating Emory University, she was also the first African American administrator at the Atlanta VA Medical Center (VAMC) when she became the associate chief of nursing for geriatric services. She eventually rose through the ranks at the VAMC to become chief of long-term care nursing. Bellamy’s leadership led to major improvements in patient care, including the design and implementation of the state-of-the-art VA Nursing Home, where she worked tirelessly until her retirement in 1998. Bellamy played an instrumental role in advance veteran-centric nursing care nationwide by serving in leadership positions for the Nurses Organization of Veteran Affairs (NOVA), which is the largest organization dedicated to shaping nursing care within the Department of Veterans Affairs. Bellamy served as a board member, secretary, and vice president for this important organization.
In 1974, Bellamy became the first African American person to receive a gubernatorial appointment to the Georgia Board of Nursing from then-governor Jimmy Carter. In 1980, Bellamy was honored in the U.S. House of Representatives. In 1981, she received the Alumni Merit Award from Tuskegee University. In 1993, she was inducted into the American Academy of Nursing, the most prestigious honor for nursing professionals. In 2005, she earned Emory’s highest alumni honor—the Emory Medal. She was also recognized as an Emory University History Maker during Emory’s 175th Anniversary in 2011.

“Verdelle Bellamy’s passing is a great loss for Emory’s nursing community,” said Linda McCauley, dean and professor of the Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing. “She was a visionary leader and a change agent for patient-centered care for veterans. She is one of the most influential alumnae to ever graduate from Emory University by becoming its first African American graduate. Countless Emory nursing students and VA patients have, and will continue to be touched by the legacy Verdelle has set forth.”

Verdelle was born on March 15, 1927 in Birmingham, Alabama. She earned a bachelor’s degree from Tuskegee University and a master’s degree in nursing from Emory University.

Memorial services will be held in Atlanta. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to Emory’s  Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing in loving memory of Verdelle Bellamy, 1520 Clifton Road, NE, Suite 442, Atlanta, GA 30322-4207.

 

“All in favor, Say I”

Although Friday was the last day of NCLEX review, it proved to be as beneficial as the first. We then attended the second plenary session to hear Dr. Cynthia Rushton speak about nursing ethics and moral courage. Her insight and stories lead to a very thought-provoking conversation, which everyone enjoyed. She challenged the group to become better leaders by pledging to practice ethical nursing.

 

After a quick break, we all gathered in the House of Delegates to support Erin Reeves as she presented her resolution. Erin did an outstanding job and her resolution passed with 379 votes in favor! The delegates continued to stay in the house and vote on the remaining resolutions. Several resolutions were very controversial and the debates went back-and-forth with heated pro/con statements. We are all so appreciative of the long hours that our delegates spent in the House, thank you! Other Emory students were presenting their research in the poster exhibit hall- it was another great day of Emory representation.

 

A group decided to venture out and try the infamous burger joint, In-N-Out. After eating a “double-double” and animal fries everyone was full, satisfied (and a little sleepy). A couple of the seniors decided to work off those burgers and went for a 4-mile run later that afternoon. Others spent the afternoon enjoying the beautiful weather and sights in Phoenix. It was nice to have the reminder of the evening to relax and gear up for our final day and closing ceremony!

 

 

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Activating: Selfie Stick

The NSNA Convention has many breakout sessions anywhere from “Med-Surge Made Easy” to “Working with Cancer Patients –What You Need To Know!” However, each morning the whole convention meets at the Plenary Session for the only time each day that all of the NSNA Convention guests are together and unite for the betterment of the Nursing profession. Dr. Susan Hassmiller, the Senior Advisor for Nursing at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, gave the keynote speech about the future of nursing where she called upon nursing students to make a positive change and widen the scope of practice of RNs and Nurse Practitioners. The campaign has already been successful in advancing nursing education, practice, leadership, diversity, and interprofessional collaboration. We all left feeling inspired and wanted to be a part of a campaign that already has accomplished so much.

Later in the day, we visited the exhibition hall with hundreds of schools for degree advancement, hospitals for employment, and different NCLEX prep courses that are available. We got a lot of valuable information and free goodies, the fan favorite had to be a selfie-stick given out by the National Council of State Boards of Nursing. We all took some awesome selfies and put our new gifts to good use! Kaplan already has given Emory an amazing special for an NCLEX prep course, but at the exhibition a five-question test was available and if someone scored a 100, the course would be given for free. Only three people out of thousands got the perfect score and 2/3 were our very own Lindsay Davis and Christie Wehner! Erin Reeves also made Emory proud today when she presented her Resolution on the harmful effects of e-cigarettes and the need for federal regulation at the House of Delegates. Not only did Erin do an incredible job in presenting the resolution, but also fellow nursing students across the country only spoke in favor to the resolution and none against. Nursing students are always making Emory proud.

The Georgia caucus met with the Georgia Association of Nursing Students and Emory had a big showing to the caucus to not only represent Emory but also our incredible state of Georgia. The Council of Student Leaders Convention was discussed and this symmer it will be held in Macon, Georgia. For any Emory students interested in going, please refer your questions to the amazing Emory students on the GANS Board, Rajeeyah Hunt-Strong and Raissa Mutuyimana. After a long, informative day at NSNA, all thirty students and our wonderful faculty, Kathy Markowski, Terri Ades, Sally Lehr, and Arnita Howard, went to unwind together at a cute little British-style cottage restaurant. We spent the night playing cornhole and eating some authentic British food like fish & chips or bangers & mash. It was a wonderful end to a wonderful day and we’re excited to do it all again for Day 3 of the NSNA Convention tomorrow!

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NSNA Think Tank

We couldn’t live without P01 for too long without finding our very own NSNA Convention P01—The North Ballroom! Acquainted to a large room with no windows, reviewing electrolytes makes us feel right at home in our early morning, four-hour NCLEX review course—just on a grander scale. We spent the morning learning the tricks of the trade so we can all be successful on our ominous boards just a short two months away.

The most important aspect of NSNA is the House of Delegates, in which amendments and resolutions are debated. The deliberation got heated as votes were almost split down the middle. It set the tone for a controversial, yet interesting debate that is to come for the remainder of the convention. During the House of Delegates, it was so exciting that our school received a special shout out for having the most pre-registered students out of thousands of schools at the convention. You can bet we cheered for the school that we are so proud to represent here in Phoenix!

While we spend 90% of our time in P01 at the school, the same holds true for the convention. We ventured away from the North Ballroom to an upstairs, beautiful ballroom where we heard an inspiring speech from the keynote speaker, Dr. Gerri Lamb from Arizona State University, at the opening ceremony. Dr. Lamb spoke about all the opportunities that lie ahead in such a significant time in nursing and healthcare. Since Emory was re-certified as a Stellar School this year, we not only got to sit in a special, let’s call it VIP section, but we also were recognized in front of the entire convention at the opening ceremony. It was a good day to be an Emory University nursing student!

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In case you haven’t flown in the last 20 years, smoking is prohibited on this flight

Alarm clocks ring at 4:30 AM and thirty Emory Nursing students slowly get out of bed, rubbing tired eyes. Having been used to getting up this early for various clinical rotations across the city getting up at dawn is a familiar task, but this time we reached for suitcases instead of scrubs. Cups of coffee and plane tickets in hand, we headed to the National Student Nurses’ Association annual conference taking place in the convention capital of the world—Phoenix, Arizona!

Being the proactive, hardworking nursing students that was instilled in us early at Emory, we all signed up for the NCLEX review sessions that are early in the morning of each day, which meant we had to arrive to Phoenix a day earlier. Luckily, we had some free time before the convention started and we fully took advantage of it! We viewed it as a time to relax from all the studying and clinical hours we are accustomed to and to get excited for the next four days of convention.

Upon landing, we wasted no time in getting to the pool! It was a wonderful way to bond our motely crew into one awesome, cohesive unit. We spent the afternoon laughing, joking, and somehow talking about something other than tests, classes, and grades (although, beta blockers and TCAs were discussed on the flight). We learned new things about each other and how each person has had different experiences in their lives to add to each of our own unique nursing approach.

Staying in the heart of downtown Phoenix gave us many fun opportunities that are within walking distance, including a five-minute walk away from Chase Field, where the Arizona Diamondbacks play. There is truly no better way to enjoy a crisp, spring evening than with an all-American baseball game. We were lucky enough to have our incredible advisor and professor, Kathy Markowski and Dr. Terri Ades, join us for a night of stadium hot dogs and ball. Soon the time change began to hit us and we hit the hay early to be ready to rock our NCLEX review course bright and early!

 

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