Archive for Learning Opportunity

Montego Bay: 16 nursing students, two professors and one breast model take Mobay

DAY 1| The bustling of the footsteps resonated throughout the Atlanta International Airport. All 16 of us arrived with high anticipation. Dr. Muirhead and Dr. Horigan, our two faculty instructors, directed as we quickly checked in eight packed suitcases of medical supplies and incentives (blood glucose monitors, gloves, band aids, hygiene kits, glasses, lotion, etc). We promptly started walking through TSA security with no concern or doubt that we would be stopped. However, we were completely wrong. Although most of us walked through smoothly, Dria (ABSN ’17) confidently knew that she would be stopped. “I just knew it,” she said as she shook her head after the incident. The red lights immediately flashed as her luggage passed through the security scanner. The TSA officer started searching through her personal items before pulling out the breast model she had for her breast self exam presentation. The officer’s eyebrows raised as she questioned, “what is this?” Without a second thought, Dria went nurse mode and preceded to educate her about breast exams. She even encouraged her to perform her own self exams and emphasized the importance of it. By the end of the conversation, Dria walked away with not only her breast model but also with the satisfaction about her premature patient education. We knew right then that this would be a good trip.

When we finally made it to Jamaica, we went straight to work. After refueling our energy with food, we took two hours packing first aid kits as incentives for our very first event! After designating leaders for this event, we headed over to The Church of God to speak with the individuals about the health related issues in Jamaica and Montego Bay.



Elianne Carroll (ABSN ’17) and Fauziya Ali (BSN ’17) created and executed the health module about the Zika virus. The ladies of the church listened intently as they followed them through their poster. In order to guide their understanding, we also provided them with an educational handout that had additional information to address any concerns.

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After the presentation, we provided free blood pressure screenings and patient education. Dr. Muirhead floated around to assist and provided further patient education about actions individuals could take in order to help lower their blood pressure. Each participant received a gift bag with deodorant, anti-fungal cream, and their own personal first aid kit. The ladies and specifically the kids at the event enjoyed both the information and our presence.

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We returned to the hotel in good spirits and hungry. After eating, debriefing, learning about hypertension education tips, and creating aromatherapy rice bags, we went straight to our rooms to say hello to our beds. FIRST DAY, SUCCESS.


Spring Workshop Series: R and RStudio

The School of Nursing is excited to announce a “Series of R Workshops” to be held Spring 2016. These 4 workshops will be led by Melinda Higgins, Ph.D., associate research professor and senior biostatistician.

These 4 workshops will each be 2 hours long with a focus on hands-on learning using R and RStudio. These workshops will be introductory and provide skills necessary to begin to be comfortable working with R and RStudio performing data analysis and writing research reports. R is a wonderful programming language for Data Analysis, Graphics and much more.

“However, with great power comes great responsibility!”

R has a steep learning curve. It was not designed to have a point-and-click menu driven interface with canned procedures. Instead it is a rich language for data manipulation and analysis with statistical functions and methods embedded in its core. The rewards are definitely worth the effort. PLUS, IT IS FREE and is supported by literally hundreds of thousands of users and developers worldwide. No other widely-used software can make these claims.

The 4 workshops listed below will be held in the Nursing building room 112 from 10:00-11:50am on each date listed. More Information at

Four R Workshops and Projected Goals

2/17/2016  “Introduction to R, RStudio and Working in the R Environment”

  • Goal 1: Be able to open and work with R and RStudio on your own computer (or one you have access to) – initial familiarization with R, RStudio interface and R Environment
  • Goal 2: Initial understanding of what “packages” are, how to load them and use them
  • Goal 3: Initial understanding of where and how to get help

2/19/2016 “Introductory Data Management, Statistical Analyses, and Graphics with R” — Register Now

  • Goal 1: Further improvement of skills for working with R, the RStudio interface and configuring your R Environment
  • Goal 2: Read data into and Save data and results out of R/RStudio
  • Goal 3: Run simple statistical summaries and analyses and make simple plots

3/25/2016 “Reproducible Research with R (combining data + analysis + documentation seamlessly)

  • Goal 1: Initial understanding of what Reproducible Research practices are and why they are important
  • Goal 2: Initial understanding of RMarkdown and how to use it to create HTML, PDF or Microsoft WORD formatted reports
  • Goal 3: Initial understanding of “cloud-based” repositories for interacting with and storing data, statistical results, and associated documentation.

4/22/2016 “Getting Started with Statistical Modeling with R”

  • Goal 1: Initial understanding of primary data structures and objects within R
  • Goal 2: Initial understanding of running descriptive univariate and bivariate statistics
  • Goal 3: Initial understanding of simple statistical tests such as t-tests, chi-square tests and linear regression models

There is a video tutorial/how to for downloading R and RStudio and associated programs plus showing how to get these installed, running and configured for the R Workshop series this Spring (this is for Windows, but info is shown where to get the files for a mac as well). This video also includes a brief introduction to using RMarkdown for creating HTML, PDF and Word Documents where the report, code and all statistical analyses are performed in 1 step (a teaser if you will for workshop 3 which will focus on RMarkdown and the process of dynamic documentation and how that supports Reproducible Research).

The video tutorial is now posted YouTube at