The Nursing Advisory Council, a community group that promotes excellence in nursing care by supporting the UT Health San Antonio School of Nursing, held its annual luncheon April 10.
More than 300 attended, including NAC members and their guests, as well as faculty, staff members and students from the School of Nursing.
NAC Chair John T. Franklin III offered welcoming remarks, followed by major School of Nursing announcements offered by UT Health San Antonio President William L. Henrich, M.D., MACP.
High nursing licensure pass rate
President Henrich said that fall graduates from the School of Nursing scored the highest on the NCLEX nurse licensing exam among UT System nursing schools, with 98 percent of students passing the exam on the first try. “This speaks to the quality of the education our faculty is providing,” he said.
“Our nearly 800 students are one of the most diverse nursing student bodies in the nation, and I’m happy to report that a majority of them stay in our own community to provide care,” he added.
President Henrich also announced that Eileen T. Breslin, Ph.D., RN, FAAN, celebrated her 10th anniversary as dean of the School of Nursing on April 1. “Dr. Breslin has done a remarkable job of recruiting outstanding students and accomplished and innovative faculty,” he said.
The School of Nursing is undergoing an extensive renovation, he said, that is scheduled to be completed later this year, just in time for the School of Nursing’s 50th anniversary in 2019.
UT System award
President Henrich introduced Carolyn E.Z. Pickering, Ph.D., RN, an early career assistant professor of nursing, who was recruited in 2016 from Michigan State University. Dr. Pickering was recently announced as a recipient of a University of Texas System Rising STAR Award. The $250,000 award will help support Dr. Pickering’s work in elder abuse and neglect research and services. She has already published 13 manuscripts in peer-reviewed journals and is a member of UT Health’s Glenn Biggs Institute for Alzheimer’s & Neurodegenerative Medicine, directed by Dr. Sudha Seshadri, professor of neurology.
NAC scholarships and research grants
During her remarks, Dr. Breslin noted that the luncheon raises funds for student scholarships, as well as faculty grants and scholarships. (A tally after the luncheon showed that more than $63,000 was raised.)
In addition to $30,000 in scholarships to 15 students in the Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing program, the NAC awarded $26,671 for faculty research projects and scholarships. The recipients include:
- Kimberly Hughes, D.N.P., RNC, CNS, “Utilization of Safe Sleep Baby Boxes by Women Upon Hospital Discharge;”
- Moonju Lee, Ph.D., RN, “Building Community Capacity and Engagement in the San Antonio Korean American Community;”
- Kathryn Parke, D.N.P., APRN, CPNP; Christiane Meireles, Ph.D., RDN, LD; and Jane Smith, RN, “Improving Health Literacy in an At-Risk Adolescent Population.”
- Azizeh Sowan, Ph.D., M.S.N., RN, “Predictors of Hospital Consumer Assessment of Health Care Providers and Systems Scores and Readmissions,” a big data collaborative research project focusing on safety, quality and reimbursement in health care.
The NAC also funded a faculty scholarship for Dr. Rebecca Fenton. “She is already a family nurse practitioner, but because we have such need for more mental health capacity, she is returning to school to earn her mental health nurse practitioner certificate,” Dr. Breslin said.
National speaker Barb Bancroft, RN, M.S.N., PNP, was the guest speaker, providing a humorous and informational talk debunking health care myths.