Archive for emorynursing

School of Nursing Celebrates December Graduates with Winter Awards Ceremony

The Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing honored its December graduates during the school’s annual Winter Awards Ceremony on Saturday, December 17th. Hundreds of families, friends, and alumni were present to celebrate the accomplishments of the school’s graduate and undergraduate students. The graduating class included four Doctor of Nursing Practice students – the first group of students to graduate from this program. In addition, the school recognized 76 Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) students, seven post-graduate certificate students, three Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing + Master of Science in Nursing (AMSN) students, and 43 Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) students.

The Winter Awards Ceremony was held at the Woodruff Health Sciences Center Auditorium. The event featured DNP and MSN class speakers, honors research scholar recognition, and an awards presentation honoring students who demonstrated excellence in leadership, service, collaboration, innovation, and personal character. The student award winners are as follows:

• Award of Excellence – Molly Jobe and Bill Rankin
• Excellence in Collaboration – Jessica Goza and Katharine Williams
• Excellence in Social Responsibility – Ida Curtis and Meghan Krueger
• Excellence in Innovation – Jill Peters and Amy Greenblatt
• Excellence in Leadership – Abby Wetzel and Avni Suresh

In collaboration with the Emory Nurses’ Alumni Association, the School of Nursing also paid tribute to three outstanding students with the distribution of the Silver Bowl Awards, the highest student honor. DNP student Laura Prado, MSN student Audrey Straus, and BSN student Charity Taylor received this year’s Silver Bowl Awards for demonstrating exceptional clinical and scholastic abilities while also serving as inspiration for other students.

Student-nominated awards were also given to two faculty members on behalf of the Emory Student Nurses Association. These awards, known as the “Heart of the Students” awards, are given each year to faculty members who go above and beyond in their teaching and mentoring. This year’s “Heart of the Students” awards were presented to graduate faculty member Dr. Ginny Secor, PhD, RN and undergraduate faculty member, Dr. Ann Horigan, PhD, RN.

View photos from the event below.

A Sierra Leone Nursing Student’s Visit to Emory School of Nursing

Andrew Brima Sesay, a community health nursing graduate of the Defense School of Nursing at Wilberforce in Freetown, Sierra Leone (formerly called the Forces Nurses Training School), visited the School of Nursing to explore global health nursing opportunities in the United States.

During Sesay’s visit to the Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing, he toured the School of Nursing and Emory University Hospital, met with key global health faculty members and students, and explored the school’s simulation lab. He was also treated to a special reception in his honor, hosted by the School of Nursing’s chapter of Sigma Theta Tau International, the nursing honor society.

Sesay’s foray into the field of health care began when he worked as a nurse aide and x-ray technician at the St. John of God Hospital in Mabasseneh, Sierra Leone, one of only five hospitals in the country. After completing his nursing degree, he worked for two years with Medecins Sans Frontieres (Doctors Without Borders) as a pediatric nurse at the Magburaka Government Hospital in the Tonkolili District, located in the northern province of Sierra Leone. In 2008, at the end of his contract with Medecins Sans Frontieres, Sesay began working at the Wellbody Alliance, a nonprofit organization working to provide health care as a human right in the Kono District of Sierra Leone, a position he still holds today.
Sesay’s dedication to global health and human rights was highlighted when, in 2014, he became the key liaison for Ebola virus response in Sierra Leone’s Port Loko District, which had one of the highest per capita rates of infection during the outbreak. He also helped Partners in Health, a global organization dedicated to working with local government officials and medical and academic institutions to strengthen health systems, establish the Maforki Ebola treatment unit and the Ebola isolation and treatment center at the Port Loko Government Hospital. Sesay also served as the clinical manager of the Port Loko Government Hospital’s isolation center from 2015-2016.

School of Nursing faculty, staff, and students enjoyed hosting Sesay during his trip to the United States. You can see photos from his visit below.

Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing doctoral students honored during the Georgia Nursing Leadership Coalition Doctoral Symposium

Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing doctoral students took top honors at the third annual Georgia Nursing Leadership Coalition (GNLC) Doctoral Symposium at Georgia State University. Emory School of Nursing PhD and DNP students presented five podium presentations and two poster presentations during the symposium. In addition, two of the three GNLC health policy scholarships and both of the symposium’s doctoral awards were awarded to Emory nursing students. Policy scholarships were selected based on research essays, academic performance, and letters of recommendation.

DNP student, Rosemary Kinuthia, received a $1,500 prize for winning a GNLC policy scholarship and $500 for receiving a doctoral project award. A $1,500 policy scholarship was also awarded to PhD student Gaea Daniel, and an additional $500 doctoral project award was given to PhD student Mariya Kovaleva. Policy

Podium and poster presentations included:

  • “Function as a Predictor of 20 Day Hospital Readmission” by DNP students Eve Byrd and Kristin Langston
  • “Evaluating Quality Measures of a Dedicated Educational Unit within a Magnet Institution: Recommendations for Healthcare Transformation” by DNP student Alexandra Finch
  • “Psychosocial Factors as a Driver of Excess Heart Failure Readmissions” by DNP students Hema Santhanam and Letizia Smith
  • “Where do Persons Living with Dementia Get their Primary Care?” by PhD student Mariya Kovaleva
  • “Validation of an Obstetric Risk Index” by PhD student Jennifer Vanderlaan
  • “Relationships Matter!” by PhD student Kent Haythorn
  • “How is Dementia Covered in US Baccalaureate Nursing Programs?” by PhD student Mariya Kovaleva

For a complete list of award winners and additional information about the GNLC Doctoral Symposium, please visit

Top 7 Reasons Why You Should Choose Emory for Nursing School

Screen Shot 2015-08-17 at 4.18.46 PMFrom high school seniors looking to explore a wealth of health care careers to seasoned nurses ready to take on graduate learning for advanced practice, Emory University’s Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing offers an unparalleled nursing program to prepare students for a wide range of health care careers.

What makes Emory such an excellent nursing school? Here are seven big reasons why it’s a great choice for both undergraduate and graduate learning.

1. Emory University’s International Reputation
Consistently ranked in the top tier of competitive universities in the United States, Emory is also an internationally renowned center of cutting-edge health research and care delivery. Nursing students at Emory have the unique opportunity to study alongside some of the greatest health care leaders anywhere in the world at Emory University.

2. Clinical Partnerships
In addition to Emory Healthcare, nursing students here are encouraged to take advantage of partnerships with more than 500 other sites in the greater Atlanta area and the United States at large for their clinical coursework. Program coordination is arranged by the School of Nursing.

3. Amazing Faculty and Alumni
Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing faculty members are incredible nurses who love to share what they know to inspire the nurses of tomorrow. The faculty includes award-winning professors like Deborah Watkins Bruner, the first and only nurse to lead a National Cancer Institute cooperative group, and Assistant Professor Rasheeta Chandler, who was named to the 40 Under 40 Leaders in Minority Health list in 2016. The school’s more than 7,000 alumni are nursing leaders across the nation and around the world. They hold positions ranging from CEO and Chief Nursing Officer to public health nurse and educator. School of Nursing students have many opportunities throughout the year to connect to these health care leaders.

4. Service Learning and Global Health
Attending nursing school at Emory is about more than just classroom learning and clinical practice. The Lillian Carter Center for Global Health and Social Responsibility encourages service learning and provides opportunities for students to offer health care to underserved populations through programs like the Alternative Break Program and Graduate Student Immersion sessions around the world.

5. Life in Atlanta
Emory is located in a beautiful neighborhood within the vibrant metropolis of Atlanta. Southern charm meets world-class businesses, dining, shopping and sport venues that make life here hard to beat. Atlanta is a hub of the South that’s located within easy striking distance of Florida beaches and mountains of fun in the Great Smokies, so there’s something to satisfy all tastes and interests.

6. Student Life
Atlanta offers a wealth of entertainment and cultural opportunities, but there’s also a whole world of activities available to students on campus. The nursing school provides a close-knit community and plenty of student services to assist with everything from clinical placement to career advising. There are also clubs, intramural sports and a wide range of student groups to join.

7. Emory Traditions
The culture of student life at Emory runs deep, and it’s often the little things about campus life that students remember. Highlights of the many traditions at Emory include an annual town hall meeting hosted by former president Jimmy Carter, and special events on Wonderful Wednesdays. The nursing programs at Emory University is about more than just a top-notch clinical education — though the Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing certainly offers that to students. It’s also about the building of relationships with fellow students, faculty and the community at large that sets the Emory nursing school apart.

Find out more by scheduling a campus visit today.

5 Tips to Successfully Apply to Top Nursing Schools

emorynursingapplicationtipsWith careers in nursing booming, getting into a top-notch nursing program has become a competitive endeavor. According to a report by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing, U.S. nursing schools turned away 68,938 qualified applicants away because of the high demand for nursing education.

Nursing is a rewarding and challenging field with dozens of specialties. Talented nurses hailing from the nation’s most prestigious nursing schools are able to find work in their field at hospitals and in doctors’ offices all over the country.

If you’re interested in choosing nursing for your career, your next step is to put together a strong application to impress the programs you’re interested in. Feeling nervous about getting it all done? Try these tips to get organized and successfully apply to top nursing schools.

1. Do Your Research

Before you apply, study up on what each program offers to make sure your preferred specialties, learning styles and locations are covered. You’ll also want to visit the campus to get a sense of what life there is like.

2. Apply to More Than One School

Rank your favorites, and apply to your personal top three to five programs. If you get accepted to more than one, you’ll be able to compare and contrast the programs and any financial aid packages to make an informed decision.

3. Apply Early

This is especially important if you’re looking at a program with a rolling admissions process — you don’t want all the spaces to be filled before you send in your application! Applying early gives the admissions committee time to consider your application and may give you a leg up on getting scholarship money. Scholarship awards are awarded generously to applicants who apply before the priority scholarship deadline.

4. Be Yourself

Admissions committees look to create diverse student bodies, so be sure to list all your previous jobs, extracurricular activities, volunteer work and any other unique leadership roles you’ve taken on. Let your personality shine through in your application. You can bring your application to life by giving the admission committee the chance to get to know you. Most schools offer Open Houses, Virtual Webinars, Facebook Chats, and Shadow Days. These are all excellent ways for you to get to know the school and for the school to get to know you.

5. Proofread

While showing off your unique style is a good thing, irregular spelling and grammar are not. Be sure to carefully edit and proofread your full application to avoid careless mistakes. These may be innocent, but they show a lack of attention to detail that points to a lack of effort — and a quick rejection.

Next Steps

As you research top nursing programs, be sure to check out Emory University’s Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing. Emory makes it easy to schedule a visit and learn more about its programs through information sessions. When you’re ready, try Emory’s new online application to the nursing program. It’s quick, it’s easy, and it takes less than 30 minutes to get started on your future today.

Preventing and Responding to Venomous Snakebites

CopperheadMSN student Caitlin Cundiff participated in Dian Evans’ Environmental Emergencies lecture last month, which included information about patient treatment and monitoring after venomous snakebites. Little did she know how quickly she would be employing the evidence-based guidelines and management strategies for treating snakebites that she learned in class. While on her hospital medicine rotation in the Emory University Hospital Emergency Department, Caitlin was called to join a hospital medicine team that was in the process of treating a patient who had been bitten by a three-foot copperhead snake. Caitlin used her training to teach the Emergency Department nurses and hospital medicine staff about how to prepare and use anti-venom and how to monitor patients for progressive envenomation. While this particular patient’s bite was clinically mild and did not require antivenom, medical treatment is always advised to minimize tissue damage the risk of secondary infection.

Snakebites are common in the Southeastern United States, especially during warmer months when snakes are more active and people are spending more time outdoors. Copperheads are particularly abundant in the Atlanta area and are responsible for the majority (50 percent) of venomous snakebites. Copperheads have a copper-colored triangular-shaped head and are usually a tan to copper color with hourglass markings on their back. Their muted colors enable them to blend in well with leaves and bushes, increasing chances of an accidental encounter. While venom from a Copperhead snake is rarely fatal to humans, any venomous snakebite can become serious health emergency.

Keep the following tips in mind to protect yourself and your health.

  • Do not pick up or try to kill venomous snakes. If you see one, walk the other way and call animal control.
  • If you attempt to kill a copperhead, and they look dead, they can still bite and inject venom reflexively. Don’t pick them up!!
  • Copperhead bites are very painful and can cause progressive tissue swelling, bruising and bleeding.
  • The best treatment for a copperhead bite is to immediately get to the nearest emergency department.
  • If bitten on an extremity remove all constricting rings and jewelry, then elevate and extend the limb to reduce swelling and tissue damage around joints.
  • Do not cut a bite wound to try to get it to bleed more or to suck out the venom as this can cause a serious infection and won’t help reduce the venom effects.
  • Do not apply ice or an Ace wrap to the wound as this can worsen tissue damage.
  • Keep track of the time that you were bitten because once you arrive for care in the emergency department your wound will be evaluated for progressive envenomation by measuring the degree of swelling around the wound every 15-20 minutes.
  • Antivenom may need to be given based on how rapidly the bitten area swells and where the bite is located.

For more information on venomous snakes and treatment guidelines, click here.

Graduate Immersion Experience During West Virginia Flooding

Flooded streets and businesses in Clendenin, West Virginia

Graduate students in the School of Nursing’s Nurse Practitioner program Phil Dillard (Emergency) and Abby Wetzel (Nurse-Midwifery) discuss their immersion program experience with Cabin Creek Health Systems. The students worked alongside staff of the Clendenin Clinic to evacuate medically-fragile residents during the region’s recent storms and devastating flooding. Cabin Creek is a federally-qualified health center that provides essential health services to vulnerable populations in rural West Virginia through several community-based clinics.


Graduate Students Reflect on Immersion Experience during West Virginia Flooding


School of Nursing graduate students participate every year in a two-week immersion program in West Virginia through the Lillian Carter Center for Global Health and Social Responsibility. Our students work in partnership with area federally-qualified community health centers to promote health and prevent disease throughout the region. Led by faculty Advisors Carolyn Clevenger and Debbie Gunter, students Andrea Brubaker, Phillip Dillard, Kimberly Eggleston, Hannah Ng, Jill Peters, Allysa Rueschenberg, and Abigail Wetzel, were providing essential health services through four community clinics located in cities to the north and south of Charleston. Two of our students, Phil Dillard and Abby Wetzel, were working in a clinic in Clendenin, a town 25 miles northeast of Charleston that was hit hard by the storms.

Phil Dillard discusses the experience in this WSB-TV Channel 2 interview. WSB Interview – West Virginia Flooding

AMSN Class of 2018

The Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing welcomed the AMSN Class of 2018 to its community with a week-long celebration of social activities, including a running tour of the city, the sweet indulgence of King of Pops, painting masterpieces at Sips ‘N Strokes, and Top Golf.

The class of 80 students hails from 28 states and 5 countries and joins one of the top-ranking graduate nursing programs in the country, according to the most recent survey of U.S. News  & World Report.

We spoke with several students about joining the Emory Nursing community.

Brown, Josh

Josh Brown

Why did you choose Emory?
I chose Emory because it was incredibly inviting. Many schools of Emory’s caliber have a demeanor that is interpreted, “What can you do to make our school better”. Emory on the other hand created an atmosphere that screamed, ” What can our school do to make YOU better”.

Auburn, Al

Undergraduate program: Psychology at Tuskegee University.

Interesting factoid about yourself:
I am an identical twin.

What are you most looking forward to with Nursing School?
I am most looking forward to the graduate clinical experience in Haiti! I can finally use the Haitian Creole that I learned previously to expand my clinical skills globally.

Dream job:
My dream job is to become a CNO of a major health system while being a renowned personal trainer. Before that dream arrives, I plan to work heavily with cardiac patients as an Acute Care Nurse Practitioner while branding myself as a personal trainer.

Helen Clark

Why did you choose Emory?
I chose Emory because of the school’s unmatched commitment to global health service and research. I am overwhelmed and excited by the number of opportunities Emory provides their students to learn while serving the local and global community. The faculty are clearly all personally invested in each student’s success, and they all seem to love working with students. I also love Emory’s commitment to promoting wellness and self-care among practitioners.

Woodbine, GA

Undergraduate program: Women, Gender, and Sexuality at Harvard College

Interesting factoid about yourself?
I played for the Harvard varsity women’s rugby team and will play with the Emory club team in the fall.

What are you most looking forward to with Nursing School?
I chose nursing because I love interacting with patients, so I’m most looking forward to clinicals. I’m really looking forward to the first time I get to assist with a woman’s prenatal care and then assist with her birth. I’m definitely going to cry.

Dream job:
Beyoncé’s midwife

John Stanton

Why did you choose Emory?
I completed my Master’s in Public Health at Emory in 1998. My father in-law also taught here so I feel very connected to the school. Moreover, Atlanta is home to me!

Born in Florence, SC, grew up in Jacksonville, FL but Atlanta has been home since moving up here to get my MPH at Emory in 1996.

Undergraduate program:
I hold a bachelor of arts degree with a double major in Management/Marketing.

Interesting factoid about yourself:
I met my husband (an Atlanta native) standing in a lift line in Aspen, CO – we were married in Nantuckett in 2010.  Oh yeah, I am probably the oldest student in my cohort.

What are you most looking forward to with Nursing School?
Learning skills that will help me make a difference in the LGBTQ community, especially those that continue to be ravaged by HIV.

Dream job:
Being able to combine my experience in public health, business and my new skills in nursing to help develop the first LGBTQ health center of excellence in the Southeastern United States.


Preparing for the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX)

Simulation Poster 015After completing nursing school, every practical nurse (PN) and registered nurse (RN) in the United States must first pass the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX) to obtain a license. A final step in the journey toward practicing as a nurse, the exam is designed to test essential knowledge and skills necessary for safe and effective care. While preparing for a comprehensive exam, like the NCLEX, can be challenging, Dr. Angela Amar, PhD, RN, FAAN, Assistant Dean of Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) Education at the Emory University Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing, said that nurses build the foundation for success throughout their nursing education.

“Preparation for the NCLEX begins on Day 1 of nursing school,” said Dr. Amar, “All of our coursework, assignments, and testing follows the NCLEX blueprint designed by the National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN).”

Preparation and perseverance are the keys to success with NCLEX. Dr. Amar offers some tips and strategies to help ease nurses’ anxiety and better prepare them for a successful NCLEX experience the first time around.

Start the Registration Process Early 

State Licensure: Know the licensure requirements for the state where you intend to practice. The licensure requirements and deadlines are different for each state. Visit the board of nursing’s website for the specific state where you intend to practice (for the State of Georgia, visit: Find out if there are any special requirements and address these as quickly as possible. Georgia, like many states requires a criminal background check, which can take several weeks. The State of Tennessee has a special form for first-time, out-of-state applicants that must be requested from the state’s board of nursing and is not available online. To avoid unnecessary delays and additional fees, do your due diligence well in advance of taking the NCLEX to ensure that you have met all of the state’s necessary licensure requirements.

Register with Pearson Vue: In addition, to registering with state licensing boards, you also need to apply to take NCLEX with the test vendor Pearson Vue. Registration can be completed online, by mail, or by telephone. I encourage nurses to call the testing center where they intend to take the exam ahead of time. Some test centers are really busy and have a backlog of students needing to schedule a test date. You may be able to schedule and earlier test date if you are willing to travel outside of your immediate area.

ATT Authorization: After the board of nursing authorizes your eligibility to test, you will receive an Authorization to Test (ATT). Keep this in a safe place. You will need to present this at your testing site to be admitted to the exam.

Prepare Yourself Mentally
Have confidence in yourself. As with many things in life, attitude is everything. If you are eligible to take your state boards, you have already triumphed through the rigors of nursing school and have the knowledge you need to succeed with the NCLEX exam. The NCLEX exam is not filled with trick questions or new information. The exam is designed to evaluate your critical thinking and ability to apply your knowledge and nursing skills in real-world scenarios. Nurses hone these critical analytical skills in the classroom and through experiential learning opportunities throughout their nursing education. The NCLEX style of questioning will be familiar to you from your testing in nursing school.

Analyze – not Memorize  
Memorization can be helpful for some information that may be needed for the NCLEX such as, units of measurement, and laboratory values. But attempting to memorize every detail that you have learned during nursing school will only serve to overwhelm and distract your focus from the mission at hand. Focus on truly understanding the broader concepts of nursing practice knowledge and patient needs in such areas as safe and effective care management, health promotion and maintenance, psychosocial integrity and physiological integrity. Practice the areas that gave you difficulty during nursing school.

Understand the Question  
Read the question carefully, so that you are clear on what is really being asked. Don’t over-analyze the question and deliberate over potential ‘what-if’s.’ The NCLEX questions are focused much more broadly. Understand the rationales of the questions. Think about the concept to which the question is relating and organize your thoughts around that topic.

Don’t Get Bogged Down Trying to Figure Out the Testing Methodology  
The NCLEX exam is administered in a computerized adaptive testing format, which means that each test is tailored to the examinee. Each time the examinee answers a question, the computer will re-estimate his or her probability for success and present the next question based on how they performed with preceding questions. The computer stops the test once performance at a certain level is demonstrated to be the test-taker’s highest ability level. I tell nursing students not to panic if the computer doesn’t shut off after 75 questions. It just means the computer is still trying to figure them out. Most students receive an average of 100 to 110 questions. Likewise, if you are given some easy questions following a few difficult ones, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you didn’t answer the previous questions correctly. The NCLEX also includes at random several test questions (that don’t count) for future exams. Don’t waste time trying to figure out the testing mechanism. Keep calm and keep your head in the game. As long as the computer keeps asking you questions, you are still in the running.

Take Advantage of the Resources Available to You     Deliberate Prac 015
Before you study for the exam, take a practice test, so that you know where you need to concentrate your focus. There are many study guides and resources available, but make sure that the materials that you are using are based on the most recent test. Emory University’s School of Nursing has a list of recommended resources available on its website. Don’t be shy about utilizing your mentors if you need extra help.


aamar-HiRes (1)Angela Amar PhD, RN, FAAN
Associate Professor,
Assistant Dean for BSN Education

Angela Amar joined the School of Nursing in September 2012. She earned a doctoral degree in nursing at the University of Pennsylvania, a master’s degree in nursing and a bachelor’s degree in nursing, both from Louisiana State University Medical Center.