• Confronting the Current Nursing Shortage in New Orleans and Across Louisiana1

    by Christina Fuchs | Oct 14, 2018

    Chamberlain Opens its 21st Location Nationwide

    Chamberlain’s new campus, its first in Lousiana, is located on the West Campus of Ochsner Medical Center in New Orleans. Seeing an opportunity to positively impact the nursing shortage, Chamberlain University and Ochsner Health System formed an educational alliance to offer an on-site, three-year Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree program. We believe there is an eager-to-learn population in Louisiana and we’re confident that we can help the residents create the solution. Classes began April 30, 2018 – class sizes are small, there are no prerequisites and currently there is no wait list. 

    The campus is led by Jennifer Couvillon, PhD, MSN, RN-BC, who brings more than 25 years of experience in clinical nursing and education. Prior to joining Chamberlain as New Orleans campus president, Dr. Couvillon served as assistant vice president of system nursing professional development at Ochsner Health System. Serving as the president of our New Orleans campus allows her to combine her experience as a nurse, her passion for teaching and her commitment to helping both nurses and the community.

    The educational alliance with Ochsner is an exceptional opportunity for Chamberlain students and Ochsner employees alike. Students have the exclusive opportunity to do all of their clinical rotations at the renowned Ochsner Health System facilities and partner locations, often taught by former Ochsner nurses. Third-year students have the opportunity to apply for a BSN Nurse Technician Honors Program and will have access to system nursing professional development programs at Ochsner Health System. 

    In an effort to encourage lifelong learning, Chamberlain University is also offering Ochsner nurses a variety of online post-licensure degree programs including the RN to BSN degree completion option, Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) and Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP). Registered nurses within the Ochsner Health System will receive special tuition pricing for these post-licensure programs.

    Chamberlain Care® is what distinguishes us – care for our students, healthcare partners, patients and the community at large. We believe if we take extraordinary care of our students, we will graduate extraordinary healthcare professionals who will have a significant and positive impact on healthcare around the world. We look forward to sharing it with our students in Louisiana.

    1 http://lcn.lsbn.state.la.us/Portals/0/Documents/Louisiana_Updated_Forecast_Model_2014_Projections_10_2_2014.pdf

    A Future in Nursing Education Guided by Past Experiences

    Jennifer Couvillon, PhD, MSN, RN-BC, shares her journey to president of the New Orleans campus.

    Impacting Lives in a Critical Way

    My career began as a nurse technician in a critical care unit, which led to serving patients in the cardiac intensive care unit (ICU) at Georgetown University Hospital. While in the ICU, an instructor needed coverage teaching students and I filled in. It was at this point that I learned about the importance of energizing learners.

    Teaching the Next Generation

    Teaching part-time led to a full-time appointment. I served as a clinical instructor and was promoted to course coordinator, assistant professor and ultimately director of the program. While academics was not my original calling, I found I could empower and personally impact more students. 

    A Commitment to Lifelong Learning

    I earned a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree with a family nurse practitioner specialty from Georgetown University and a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degree with a Nursing Education and Technology research focus from Duquesne University. Being a student while working heightened my empathy for my student’s needs. 

    I joined the Ochsner Health System as the assistant vice president of system nursing professional development where I designed an educational program that helped nurses fuel a passion for learning. I served on the nursing leadership council and helped to establish the Department of System Nursing Professional Development. 

    Embracing Opportunity

    When Chamberlain University opened on the west campus of Ochsner Medical Center in New Orleans the ultimate step in my career became a reality – serving as campus president. I was honored, invigorated and energized to – once again – learn along with my students. 

    Many nurses go into nursing to provide bedside care and may see teaching as an opportunity for later in their careers. I followed my passions and my experiences led me to this very job. 

    Remember, learning is a lifelong journey. Your future is often guided by the past if you just embrace the opportunity to say “yes.”

  • At the Forefront of Healthcare & Education

    by Christina Fuchs | Oct 11, 2018

    Chamberlain University is committed to fostering a culture of care – Chamberlain Care® – a culture in which care and service ultimately result in the development of extraordinary healthcare professionals. As such, we are focused on academic excellence that is driven by our academic leadership and our esteemed and accomplished faculty. We collaborate with our faculty to offer meaningful development opportunities towards achieving superior outcomes for all students. Many of our faculty continue to expand their educational footprint by conducting studies, holding positions on advisory boards, publishing books or writing journal articles.

    “Well prepared, engaged faculty in combination with well supported, motivated students is the formula for graduating extraordinary healthcare professionals.”

    – Carla D. Sanderson, PhD, RN Chamberlain University Provost

    To better understand how our faculty contributes to healthcare scholarship and the continued transformation of nursing education, Chamberlain’s Office of Institutional Effectiveness and Research conducts an annual survey collecting information from all faculty and academic administration colleagues related to professional service, scholarly activities, professional development and other key achievements.

  • Empower Scholarship Fund 2018

    by Christina Fuchs | Oct 11, 2018

    Keeping Education within Reach

    Students work hard to get into school and often twice as hard to graduate, striving year after year to balance academic challenges and financial obligations. Individual schools do all they can to help. However, the truth is that financial aid and institutional scholarships aren’t always enough.

    Established in 2000, the Empower Scholarship Fund is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that strives to help keep education within reach by providing financial support to continuing students, especially those with the greatest need, who have established a successful academic track record.

    By helping students pay for their education, we are empowering them to actualize their goals and to realize their dreams. By removing or easing the financial obligation, we are helping them to focus on their studies and reach their full potential.

    Because of the generous support from colleagues, alumni, corporate partners and friends, the impact of the Scholarship Fund continues to expand.

    In 2018, the EMPOWER Scholarship Fund has awarded $307,500 to 205 Chamberlain qualified students

    The Empower Scholarship Fund has awarded $1.1M in total scholarships to 477 students in 2018

    To contribute and learn more, visit empowerscholarshipfund.org

    Since 2012:
    $4,696,500 has been awarded to nearly 2,800 students
    87% of scholarship recipients are still in school or have graduated


    Agatha Ahukannah

    I am highly indebted to Empower Scholarship Fund. Just as the name implies, “I have been empowered financially!” This financial empowerment will go a long way to helping me complete my nursing program. 

    • Agatha Ahukannah
      Empower Scholarship Recipient
      Chamberlain BSN Student
      Phoenix Campus 

    Michael Cecchetto

    I would like to express my extreme gratitude for this scholarship! As someone who is not able to easily get financial assistance and with the fast-paced nature of school having led to me dropping work hours, this is a huge help in paying my tuition.

    • Michael Cecchetto
      Empower Scholarship Recipient
      Chamberlain BSN Student
      Atlanta Campus 

    Amanda KoesterThank you very much for the honor of awarding me the Empower Scholarship; I am very humbled and honored to be a recipient. This scholarship will help me achieve my goal of becoming an emergency room nurse. 

    • Amanda Koester
      Empower Scholarship Recipient
      Chamberlain BSN Student
      Cleveland Campus



    Formerly the Chamberlain College of Nursing Scholarship Fund

    Joumana Abdelaziz 
    Charity Acheampong 
    Ugochi Agwunobi 
    Agatha Ahukannah 
    Funmilayo Akinjagunla 
    Abimbola Akinrimisi 
    Adriana Almaraz 
    Angela Anthony 
    Abigail Arko-Asiamah 
    Brooke Baker 
    Tiffany Barr 
    Michael Barrientes 
    Julie Basler 
    Ahmad-Reza Beheshti 
    Herbert Beltran 
    Mary Bentain 
    Kathryn Bergman 
    Scherrie Bethel 
    Karon Betz 
    Kelli Bitner 
    Jessica Bonds 
    Amber Bonner 
    Caitlyn Bowman 
    Jessica Bradley-Oppenheimer 
    Courtney Bryan 
    Thienthanh Bui 
    Brittney Burgess 
    Elizabeth Calhoun 
    Kelly Callahan 
    Andresa Carvalho Jimenez 
    Karen Castaneda Reveles 
    Michael Cecchetto 
    Jackelyn Cedeno 
    Christine Cerdan 
    Merideth Chapman 
    Noelle Christensen 
    Nicholas Clay 
    Ivana Cobb 
    Stephanie Cook 
    Gerard Copeland 
    Amanda Cordero 
    Dannial Coston 
    Ernesto Cristian 
    Richard Cummings 
    Yuliya Damas 
    Amara Dandrow 
    Emily Darr 
    Carter Davis 
    Jessica DeBerry 
    Brenda DeBose 
    Susan Decker 
    Brittany DeJohn 
    Marvin Dellota 
    Lydia Dixon 
    Danielle Dobe 
    Colette Dollison 
    Sylvia Dorniak 
    MaryJane Ekwonoh 
    Autumn Elworth 
    Judy Espinoza 
    Nevine Fanous 
    Amber Fern 
    Chamaka Fowler 
    Rebecca Foy 
    Jessica Friday 
    Brandie Fridley 
    Amber Gervase 
    Abigail Giovacchini 
    Fiordaliza Gomez 
    Juan Gomez 
    Alicia Goodhart 
    Amber Goodson 
    Mykeya Greer 
    Brandy Greig 
    Ariel Groom 
    Mark Gruzman 
    Jennifer Gunter 
    Bernide Gustave 
    Pamela Haba 
    Domonique Hammock 
    Jolanta Hawryla 
    Tosheba Hill 
    Christian Holman 
    Lauren Horne 
    Tran Huynh 
    Donna Hylaszek 
    Emmanuella Ibekwe 
    budoor issa 
    Lisa Iyabor 
    Chimdi James 
    Hajar Jarad 
    Chasity Johnson 
    Jennifer Jorge 
    Johncy Joseph 
    Alexandra Kaldis 
    David Kasprzak 
    Raleigh Kernan 
    Katie Kerns 
    Daniel Kim 
    Amanda Koester 
    William Krol 
    Christine Kwong 
    Chesea Ledford 
    Minji Lee 
    Brooke Lee 
    Tamara Leung 
    Vastiana Lombard 
     Maikel Lopez Labaen 
    Shirlisa Love 
    Monika Lovelace 
    Stephanie Lubert 
    Sylwia Lukasik 
    Russell Lybarger 
    Tazialynn Lynam 
    Monika Lynch 
    Kim Magat 
    Melanie Maloney 
    Jessica Marberry 
    Guerda Marcelus 
    Amy Martin 
    Kevin Martinez 
    Keyna Mason 
    Tina Mathew 
    Katerina Matsas 
    Samantha Mauer 
    Raegan McDaniel 
    Tamela Mcgann 
    Jennifer Mincoff 
    Kiin Mohamed 
    Jennifer Morgan 
    Cathy Morton 
    Svetlana Muchnik 
    Hoda Nahangi 
    Mimi Nam 
    Vivian Nguyen 
    Kevin Nguyen 
    Kristen Norris 
    Nicholas Nowak 
    Richard Nzi 
    Elizabeth O’Donnell 
    Abieyuwa Ogiamien 
    Veronica Okoroafor 
    Curtis Olson 
    Bello Oluwaseun 
    Kelly O’Neill 
    Lizzy Onuorah 
    Chinasa Opara 
    Idowu Oshokoya 
    Evelyn Ozyp 
    Daeyoung Park 
    Hyemin Park 
    Dana Parker 
    Roma Patel 
    Traci Peterson 
    Mariea Pettaway 
    Christina Raiford 
    Rawlissa Rawls 
    Brandon Reece 
    Rachelle Reinfeld 
    Daphyne Ressler 
    Layla Richardson 
    Evelyn Rios 
    Jangmi Rivera 
    Candida Riverastier 
    Shavonna Robertson 
    Jillian Rosario 
    Cameron Rusch 
    Jenna Sadler 
    Kristal Saenz 
    Bianca Sandy 
    Inbarasi Sathiyamoorthy 
    Samantha Sayles 
    Lauren Schindel 
    Marsandrè Silaire 
    Marline Silaire 
    Taylor Sims 
    Leigh-Anne Skinner 
    Chantay Smith 
    Shana Smith 
    Magdalene Song 
    Jayme Stiles 
    Erin Storeygard 
    Rebekah Straka 
    Zendre Strother 
    Teeia Strout 
    Lashanta Suber 
    Shelby Taloa 
    Michelle Tartaglio 
    Victoria Tate 
    Brittany Teal 
    Moses Tetteh 
    Miranda Thompson 
    Candace Townsend 
    Netra Turner 
    Andrew Turpin 
    Carely Vargas 
    Heather Vining 
    Sapandip Walia 
    Danielle Walker 
    Josephine Wallace 
    Leslie Walters 
    Courtney Weston 
    Nana Williams 
    Ana Xue 
    Julia Ybarra

    The Empower Scholarship Fund operates in concert with Adtalem Global Education Colleges and Universities, but is a separate entity supporting student success.
  • At the Heart of Public Health

    by Christina Fuchs | Oct 11, 2018

    A Q&A with Kia James, Director, Master of Public Health Degree Program

    Public health is the science of protecting and improving the health of families and communities through promoting healthy lifestyles, disease and injury prevention and detecting and controlling diseases. Significant strides in the area of public health have been made to save lives and save money at a local, regional and global level – but there is so much more that can be done. 

    We sat down with Kia James, EdD, MPH, RN, Master of Public Health degree program director, to learn more about her journey into the public health realm, the need for public health, the kind of skills needed for the profession and some of the health advances that we can thank public health for today.

    Q: There are a variety of health issues that affect each community and region differently. Reducing the number of smokers, increasing childhood programs, traffic safety and controlling Lyme disease are just a few examples. With such variation across regions, how can we think of public health on a global scale?

    A: In today’s global society, we need to be concerned about each of these issues. But it’s important to realize that more often than not, public health is about clean water, clean air, environmental safety, injury prevention and so much more. The general population tends to think of public health as being about infectious disease and envision the movie Contagion, which is about trying to squelch an epidemic. It’s much more than that—and I think realizing that early on when pursuing a public health degree can open you up to opportunity and the chance to be involved on a global level.

    Public Health professionalsQ: Do you think there is a misconception that people need to have a medical background to have a career in public health? 

    A: I think there is. In fact, [at Chamberlain] we do not require a medical background for our Master of Public Health (MPH) degree. [Public health] is really about people wanting to create change within populations to improve health outcomes. That can be done without a medical degree, even though we see many medical professions within our work. Public health can be for someone who’s interested in creating a wellness program in their community or organization where they work. It can be about prevention and healthy eating or exercise. It can be about washing hands thoroughly. Everyone is affected by that. 

    Q: Tell us about your journey into a public health career. Why did you pursue a public health degree? 

    A: Believe it or not, I started out my college career as a French literature major; I was very interested in healthcare and actually wanted to be a doctor at one point. Then I got a “C” in biology and thought [becoming a medical doctor] wouldn’t happen. I was always concerned about healthcare and the health of my family and friends, so in my junior year of college, I decided to become a nurse and I ended up in public health because of it. Nursing happens to be the largest profession that is represented in public health because we have direct contact with populations. 

    I started out in nursing and decided to go back to school to broaden my horizons. I went into public health because I wanted to continue working with people but I also wanted to work with populations to create positive change in policy, prevention and education.

    Q: When did you learn that public health was your niche?

    A: As I was earning my MPH, I was accepted into the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), a federal government body that provides policies, procedures and funds to the general public. With the fellowship that I had with NIOSH, I began my work in occupational health and learned how to work with industrial populations – those who worked in welding or with chemicals or on a factory line – to improve their health outcomes at their worksites. That got me interested in working with groups to try to prevent injuries to meet the laws of public health, like worker’s compensation. I knew that was my niche. 

    Q: When did you learn that you wanted to be an educator within public health?

    A: As a result of being on the front lines, I decided I wanted to be an educator—education is such a core part of public health. I started teaching nursing, specifically public health nursing and was part of one of the first nursing programs to include public health in the curriculum. We incorporated the public health course into the associate degree for nursing so students could learn about public health as an avenue earlier on in their careers. 

    After teaching public health nursing for many years at community colleges and private universities in Minnesota, I moved to San Francisco and taught at the University of San Francisco. My dean was a cutting-edge leader in healthcare education and wanted the university to start an MPH program. Because I had the background, I was selected to be the one who started the program.

    As a nurse but also a public health professional, I’m trying to continue that vision that my dean had many years ago at Chamberlain by offering this degree and being more interprofessional in our approach to take care of populations. 

    ghep-india_1Q: What goes into building a public health curriculum?

    A: It’s both complicated and, at the same time, somewhat prescriptive. That’s because our accrediting body outlines the competencies that we need to have our students learn and show evidence of being competent in by the time they graduate. This dictates how we structure curriculum. We focus on five areas broken down into 22 competencies: biostatistics, epidemiology, environmental health, leadership and behavioral health. We are constantly looking for opportunities for application and integration in the classroom and outside the classroom to learn the skills needed to affect public health. Additionally, at Chamberlain, our faculty have had long and varied careers within public health, so they have seen plenty of different solutions and efforts over the years that add even more value as they are shared with our students.

    Q: Besides nursing, what are some other professions you have seen making a switch to public health in their careers?

    A: My daughter is actually a great example! She was a German and Hispanic studies major in college. When she was 21, she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer which was profoundly influencing on her. She was exposed to the rehabilitative healthcare system after beating cancer and wanted to learn how to prevent illnesses, like cancer, from happening. She had no medical background, but she went through an MPH program and ended up working with a nonprofit organization called the Breast Cancer Fund, which advocates for breast cancer prevention. While at the BCF, she was instrumental in creating policy change for manufacturers so that carcinogens could be taken out of certain shampoos and perfumes. 

    India Rose, PhD, MPH, one of our MPH professors, is another great example. She began her public health career with a bachelor’s degree in biology and found that she had a passion educating on youth sexual health. She has nearly 10 years of experience conducting public health research and evaluation in health communication, adolescent health, minority and lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) youth health and pregnancy and HIV prevention. Her research has explored strategies for improving parent-child health communication between African-American LGBTQ youth and parents and examined parents’ perceptions of school-based teen pregnancy prevention programs. 

    Q: How can someone get started with making an impact on global health?

    A: Get involved. It’s not a secret that public health is a politically involved profession. For example, gun violence is a public health issue. To affect change with gun violence, you would get involved with the political process to establish laws. Creating policy and laws generates interest to help move an issue where society controls part of the problem. Therefore, my first inclination is to say, get involved politically—even though that can make people feel uncomfortable sometimes. 

    Q: How do you recommend MPH students be open to working with varied populations?

    A: There are so many different avenues in public health you can take. Our MPH program is a generalist program and I think it’s important that we have one: we want to expose our students to all the possibilities. There is an array of classes that students take; Chamberlain offers curriculum ranging from epidemiology and biostatistics to environmental health and behavioral health theories. In the end, the focus is always going to be on the foundation of social justice. The social justice piece is really what drives public health – it’s being concerned about one’s fellow human being and making sure that they’re as healthy as they can be without being a clinician. 

    Meet One of Our MPH Students

    Eileen RiveroEileen Rivero, who has a BS in psychology, has worked as a registered behavior technician in behavior therapy with children who have mental and physical disabilities at Positive Behavior Supports (PBS) Corporation for the past three years. PBS’s mission is to improve not only behavior but also the quality of life for the individuals they serve and their families. Rivero’s mission is to advocate for those who cannot advocate for themselves within the realm of mental health.

    “I’m really glad I chose to complete this degree in public health in particular because I think it’s a great way to learn how to advocate for populations you care about,” said Rivero. “Long-term, I want to be a medical doctor and am looking to get into medical school next. Specifically, I want to go into pediatrics and orthopedics, and become a pediatric orthopedic surgeon. It would be a dream to work with Doctors Without Borders; this degree is training me to be able to work with communities and populations throughout the world.”

  • Answering with Care & Compassion

    by Christina Fuchs | Oct 11, 2018

    Chamberlain Graduate Influences Change in Senior Living Care Nationally

    Nearly 20 years ago, Kim Estes Elliott, RN, MSN, was completing a clinical rotation at a nursing home in Kentucky while earning her Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN). The nursing home was not an inviting place – a lingering odor emanated throughout the building, the concrete walls had been hastily painted and many nurses who worked for the home were not passionate about their work. Elliott’s classmates were not looking forward to the series of clinicals at the home.

    But Elliott was different. “I didn’t feel like there was enough care and compassion toward the residents and it weighed on me during the entire nursing program,” said Elliott. “After graduating with my ADN, I knew I wanted to apply at that nursing home. My classmates looked at me as if I was crazy and asked me why. I said, ‘Because there’s a need.’ I knew I would feel guilty seeing that need and walking away from it. One of these days, my parents are going to be in the position those seniors were in and I’m going to be there, too. I felt I needed to dedicate my career to changing the way seniors are cared for as they age and really make a difference in that space.”

    Kim Estes ElliottMaking Her Education a Priority

    Elliott’s goal was to receive her Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) by the time her son graduated from high school. This meant she needed two degrees – first, her Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) and then her MSN. She earned both her BSN and MSN through Chamberlain’s programs—the RN to BSN Online Degree Completion Option and the Master of Science in Nursing degree program where she completed the executive track.

    In 2014, shortly after earning both degrees, Elliott received a call from a recruiter for Brookdale Senior Living Solutions, an assisted living provider. “What if I told you that you could be the senior vice president of clinical services for the largest senior living company in the U.S.?” the voice on the other line said. “They were looking for someone to come in with the right leadership experience,” said Elliott. “I thought of my Chamberlain education right away. My nurse executive track program was rooted in leadership–whether it was on culture change or leadership styles. Everything I did in that track helped prepare me.”

    Today, Elliott serves as the senior vice president of clinical services for Brookdale Senior Living Solutions where she has worked for three-and-a-half years, bringing together a national clinical department in over 1,000 facilities across 46 states. Elliott oversees 8,000 nurses who care for 100,000 residents.

  • 5 Benefits of Chamberlain’s MSN-FNP Program

    by Christina Fuchs | Oct 11, 2018

    With the growing demand for primary care and the changing healthcare landscape, Family Nurse Practitioners (FNPs) are poised to play a vital role in the industry. Chamberlain University is doing its part in responding to the demand for FNPs by offering a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) Specialty Track, which is designed to help prepare graduates to sit for national certification as an FNP and enhance their role and opportunity for advancement in a wide range of healthcare settings.

    What makes Chamberlain’s MSN-FNP Specialty Track stand out?

    1. The Flexibility of Online Learning

    With 100 percent online coursework, Chamberlain’s MSN-FNP specialty track offers the flexibility to pursue a degree at your own pace. Take as few as one class per session (12-18 hours per week on average) – giving you time to have a life outside of school. 

    “I wanted to go to a school that was going to allow me to continue to work full-time. The online aspect of it really appealed to me. They let me double up my first six months so I could finish my degree in two years instead of two and a half – it was totally doable.”

    Jaclyn Hamlin 
    Chamberlain MSN-FNP graduate 
    Chamberlain University

    2. Learn from Experienced Faculty and Innovative Resources 

    Chamberlain’s faculty is leading the charge in innovative learning opportunities and thought leadership. A prime example is the Virtual Learning Lab (VLL) that was developed as a faculty-precepted clinical practicum experience for eligible FNP students without confirmed clinical sites in their capstone course.

    “Students are able to interact with virtual patients, participate in concept labs that simulate real-life clinical experiences and manage chronic health conditions frequently encountered in a primary care setting.”

    Randy Gordon, DNP, FNP-BC
    Assistant Professor
    Chamberlain University

    Professor Gordon developed the VLL and was recently recognized as a Best Practice Innovator by the International Nursing Association for Clinical Simulation and Learning (INACSL).

    3. You Gain Valuable Hands-On, Interactive Experiences

    As part of the MSN-FNP curriculum, you’ll attend an Immersion Weekend where you interact with professors and fellow students as well as observe, participate and be evaluated on clinical assessment skills to ensure you’re prepared for your upcoming practicum experiences. In addition to Immersion Weekend, students join an on-site review session that offers all the benefits of an in-person review with live, expert lectures and follow-up to prepare you for success on the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners (AANP) board certification exam or American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) board certification exam.

    “Immersion Weekend was a great way to practice and perfect my hands-on technique with the information I already knew from my coursework.” 

    Aarti Mehta 
    MSN-FNP graduate 
    Chamberlain University

    4. Collaborate with Faculty and Students

    Even with an online learning environment, there’s plenty of opportunity to collaborate with your professors and fellow students through our community of support. To provide additional opportunities for real-time contact with faculty (via WebEx or phone), collaborative sessions have been built into select FNP courses that may include debriefings for class assignments or virtual interactive student evaluations depending on the course. Through Facebook groups, discussion boards and study groups, you can connect with fellow students throughout your time in the program.

    “Something I really took advantage of was the first-week phone call with faculty. Every eight weeks you get a new teacher and they may want your notes to be different from the one before. I used that call to say who I am and tell me what you want out of me in this class.”

    Jaclyn Hamlin 
    Chamberlain MSN-FNP graduate 
    Chamberlain University

    5. Experience Our Culture of Care

    At Chamberlain, we believe if we take extraordinary care of our students, we will graduate extraordinary healthcare professionals who will take extraordinary care of the patients and families they serve and transform healthcare worldwide. 

    Throughout your degree program, from your first inquiry as a prospective student to graduation and beyond, you’ll be surrounded by our culture of care – Chamberlain Care®. From 24/7 access to coursework and interactive learning activities to robust virtual learning resources and online tutoring, we have built a supportive environment focused on helping you succeed in school and achieve your career goals every step of the way. It is this commitment and personalized attention that distinguishes us.

  • Charging Into Change

    by Christina Fuchs | Oct 11, 2018

    A Chamberlain DNP alumnus is leading the charge in early detection of abnormal heart rhythms.

    Dr. Thomas J. Salomone has been driving thought leadership in the field of cardiology—particularly in the area of early detection of abnormal heart rhythms—ever since his studies in Chamberlain University’s Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree program. While he was a doctoral candidate, Dr. Salomone—along with Joseph Wiesel, MD—led a pilot trial that was able to detect new cases of asymptomatic atrial fibrillation (AF) in long-term residents 65 years and older at a skilled nursing facility using an automatic blood pressure monitor at a higher rate than previous methodologies.

    This research showed an ability to more accurately detect AF in elderly residents of skilled nursing facilities, which can then provide an opportunity to begin treatment that may reduce their risk for stroke. Additionally, since the screening can be automated through the automatic blood pressure monitor, results can be made available for employees of skilled nursing facilities for assessment purposes without additional labor requirements for the staff. Dr. Salomone and Dr. Wiesel’s work has been published in The American Journal of Cardiology (ajconline.org) and Caring for the Ages (caringfortheages.com). 

    Dr. Salomone’s interest in AF began when a relative was diagnosed with the condition many years ago. He is currently exploring a follow-up AF study based on related master’s degree program work. Long before his time with Chamberlain, he was a New York state EMT and licensed CPA. When he decided to make a shift in careers and was seeking a DNP degree program, he became interested in Chamberlain based on the strong recommendations of former graduates. Now his experience with the school has come full circle with him serving as a visiting professor in Chamberlain's DNP degree program.

  • First Texas Nurse Practitioner with Full Practice Authority Attributes Chamberlain to Her Success

    by Christina Fuchs | Oct 11, 2018

    Who can call herself the first Nurse Practitioner with full practice authority (FPA) in the state of Texas? Charlene Seale, MSN, DNP—and she’s a 2016 graduate of Chamberlain’s Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree program.

    Dr. Seale has been a certified family nurse practitioner at a medical center in Amarillo, Texas, since 2012. Her newly issued FPA privilege, which began in May 2017, allows her elevated responsibilities like diagnosing patients and writing prescriptions. 

    While private sector nurses in Texas aren’t allowed full practice authority, Dr. Seale works for a government-run medical center that gave its healthcare systems the ability to grant this authority in December 2016. The center’s medical staff selected Dr. Seale to lead the process of facility transition to FPA after they had considered a number of applicants.

    Dr. Seale worked with the organization at large and medical staff members to make the necessary requirements to the center’s bylaws, rules and regulations so that full practice authority could proceed. After the vote was made to move forward, Dr. Seale was selected as the pilot leader to ensure that processes were sound and valid for implementation. She recently helped grant 31 other nurse practitioners at the center full practice authority.

    Dr. Seale explained that Chamberlain’s DNP program had a great impact on her success in gaining this privilege for the center. 

    “[Chamberlain] was one of the most enjoyable educational experiences I’ve had in post-graduate work. It was so well-organized and thoughtfully put together so that as you went through the curriculum, you achieved milestones that benefited your practice and the patients you were involved with—and that was the most meaningful thing to me. I applied a lot of what I learned in the interprofessional collaboration class course to the process of gaining full practice authority. Many times throughout the process, I thought, ‘I’m so glad I have this knowledge.’ I wouldn’t have had the skill to accomplish this with my team in the short timeline that we did.” 

    Read Dr. Seale’s 7 Best Reasons to Earn Your Doctor of Nursing Practice This Year on the Chamberlain Blog.

    1 https://www.texasnp.org/events/EventDetails.aspx?id=986886

  • The DNP Project That Transformed the Health of a Hospital

    by Christina Fuchs | Oct 11, 2018

    At Hampshire Memorial Hospital in Romney, West Virginia, Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) graduate Mary Sas, DNP, MSN, MBA, BSN, BS is the vice president and Chief Nursing Officer (CNO). While the hospital has an employee-based wellness program (EWP) throughout its system, the nurses and nursing support staff in this particular location had the lowest participation rates across the system. “A colleague came to a leadership meeting at our hospital and expressed concern over the health of my staff. In the two years I had been there, we were so focused on increasing the quality of care for our patients that I hadn’t looked at the health of my nurses—the caregivers.” This interaction with her colleague inspired her to create a culture of health and she began the outline for her DNP project.

    Dr. Sas conducted a pre-and-post health risk assessment (HRA) questionnaire and body mass index (BMI) measurement at the beginning and end of the eight-week project, which aimed to decrease BMI across the nursing staff. She designed the project around an education component focused on nutritional choices and physical activity, including a face-to-face interaction with participants to provide motivation and support through coaching, reward and recognition. 

    The results demonstrated statistically significant improvement in physical health, mental health and decreased BMI for the 30 participants who completed the program. Questions acknowledging physical health and mental health over the previous weeks reflected a dramatic improvement on the pre and post survey. “We saw a positive shift from 15 to 33 percent and good response about general health. Both the physical health and mental health averages improved and there were no responses that were in the ‘poor’ or ‘very poor’ category on the ending survey.” Dr. Sas explained that the BMI numbers were the most difficult to shift because even the smallest shift in BMI requires significant change in eight weeks; however, the group average decreased its BMI from 0.7.

  • DNP Alumna’s Project on Diabetes is Published in JAANP

    by Christina Fuchs | Oct 10, 2018

    Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) graduate Kerri Elsabrout, DNP, RN, FNP-BC, NEA-BC, is the Director of Nursing at White Plains Hospital in White Plains, NY. With more than 14 years of diverse experience, especially as a nurse practitioner, Elsabrout decided to go back to school to earn her DNP degree with Chamberlain. Elsabrout’s DNP project titled Increasing Diabetic Patient Engagement and Self-Reported Medication Adherence Using a Web-Based Multimedia Program was recently published in the Journal of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners (JAANP)

    For her project, Elsabrout examined how providing an online, multimedia self-management program affects patient engagement and self-reported medication adherence scores within four – six weeks compared with pre-program scores. She focused on patients with diabetes with the potentially devastating complication of foot ulcers. Elsabrout studied 14 adult, diabetic outpatients receiving care at a wound care center in suburban New York. Participants watched a Type 2 diabetes Emmi® educational module on an electronic tablet during a routine wound treatment visit and after watching the video, self-reported medication adherence increased.

  • Cleveland Clinic Health System Executive Chief Nursing Officer Reflects on Her Time at Chamberlain

    by Christina Fuchs | Oct 10, 2018

    Kelly Hancock, DNP, RN, NE-BC, is the executive chief nursing officer of the Cleveland Clinic Health System and a 2015 graduate of Chamberlain’s Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree program. The following is an excerpt from her foreword in the book Designing & Creating a Culture of Care for Students & Faculty: The Chamberlain University College of Nursing Model, edited by Chamberlain University President Emeritus Susan Groenwald, PhD, RN, FAAN, ANEF.

    In 2015, I proudly achieved one of the greatest milestones of my professional career: I earned my DNP from the Chamberlain University College of Nursing. Obtaining my DNP was something I had wanted to do for years. When I finally realized the time was now or never, I looked for a higher education institution that would deliver on everything I wanted and needed in my DNP pursuit. I was impressed by Chamberlain’s rich history, committed values, high standards and extensive offerings, and I knew I could achieve my goal if I attended a respected, high-quality institution like Chamberlain. 

    In all honesty, I expected that my DNP experience would be rather challenging. After all, I was earning the highest degree of my career while continuing to fulfill my role as an executive chief nursing officer for the world-renowned Cleveland Clinic health system and its 22,000 nursing caregivers. I expected to have even earlier mornings and later nights than usual. I expected that my time with my husband and two kids might be less than I would prefer some days. I expected that the work would be intense. But I also expected that my experience would be highly beneficial and, truthfully, career changing. I expected to grow and emerge a better nurse. 

    However, what I did not expect was how much those at Chamberlain also wanted me to succeed. What I did not expect was the extent to which my professors cared. What I did not expect was how diverse my experience would end up being. What I did not expect was having the opportunity to really learn from fellow students, who came from a variety of clinical settings and roles from across the United States. What I did not expect was how these extra benefits would positively impact my own scholarly work, my leadership role at Cleveland Clinic, and the future of my professional nursing career. 

    Throughout my experience, I saw firsthand how Chamberlain aims to instill in its students the values required to be an extraordinary nurse. I can also see the success of Chamberlain’s efforts through the many, many Cleveland Clinic nurses who are currently enrolled in Chamberlain’s programs or are graduates. The work that Chamberlain has done to design and create its own culture of nursing excellence through superior service and care is phenomenal. It is research driven, evidence based, strategic and measurable – and it directly improves the culture of healthcare organizations and patient care worldwide. The caliber of nurses who graduate from Chamberlain is the caliber of nurses we seek at Cleveland Clinic Health System.

  • FNP Student Creates a Time-Saving Tool That Helps Students with Research

    by Christina Fuchs | Oct 10, 2018

    Stefanie Perez, BSN, RN, was uncertain about enrolling in an online nursing program. But after having earned a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) from Chamberlain’s RN to BSN Online Option and continuing on for a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) specialty track, she was more confident in online schooling than ever before. In fact, she was so comfortable with an online learning environment that she designed a tool that sends scholarly articles to medical students.

    Perez, who lives in Naples, Florida and works as a part-time nurse at an urgent care center, is also a wife and mom. Add that to juggling clinicals and you have one active student. While researching one of her many projects, she realized she was spending an incredible amount of time actually researching articles and that if she could find a way to have articles sent to her she’d become much more efficient with her time. 

    Stefanie PerezWith the help of Microsoft’s Bot Framework – a service that provides the resources to build intelligent bots – Perez created a chat bot called CatoPro that sends scholarly articles and credible sources to busy students. Within 15 minutes of submitting a keyword or research subject through the website, students will start receiving articles in their email.

    How is CatoPro Different?

    CatoPro is specifically geared to help students be more efficient with their research. With Google, students receive up to millions of results. Alternatively, CatoPro refines the search and sends students 20-segmented articles specific to their search – straight to their email. Receiving search results in one’s email is not something Google can do. 

    The Future of CatoPro

    Since January, CatoPro has seen 137 unique users, which is impressive considering all “advertising” has been through word of mouth. The service is only gaining momentum as the online community continues to take note. In fact, investors have shown interest and are looking to enhance the tool further. A Facebook page is also coming soon. 

    Want to try CatoPro yourself?

    1. Visit catopro.com
    2. Type a keyword(s) into the chat bot
    3. Provide your email address
    4. Check your email in 15 minutes for scholarly, credible sources related to your keyword(s) and published in the last five years

  • Limiting Opioid Dependency

    by Christina Fuchs | Oct 10, 2018

    As opioid dependency and overdoses in the United States continue to rise, Linda Young, DNP, set out to find answers. She recently published an article suggesting a credible link between increased opioid prescribing and increased opioid addiction, while also summarizing a pilot program she designed aimed at monitoring opioid prescriptions.

    For the program, her team designed and piloted an evidence-based quality-improvement project in four urgent care clinics. Their results found that by implementing guidelines, and tapping into the resources of Rhode Island’s Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP) database, you can limit the amount of opioid prescriptions – or at least monitor it. 

    Further, they found that provider awareness and education is key. Implementing goal setting and monitoring assessment and referral practices are also vital. In this vein, the Rhode Island Department of Health, among many other public health agencies, recommends adoption of a protocol called “Screening Brief Intervention and Referral to Treatment” or SBIRT.

    We look forward to following Dr. Young’s progress as she continues to work toward resolving the opioid epidemic.

    Screening Brief Intervention and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT): 

    Consider screening all patients annually or upon entry to your practice to assess potential risk for substance abuse with tools such as the Opioid Risk Tool (ORT), Drug and Alcohol Screening Tools 10 (DAST 10) and several more tools available from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

  • Recent BSN Graduate’s “Good Catch” Saves a Man’s Life

    by Christina Fuchs | Oct 10, 2018

    Hillary Bolda, BSN, RN, had been an Addison campus graduate for just six months and was working in the ER at a Level I trauma center in Chicago. One day, she came onto her shift to find that an abdominal assessment hadn’t been done on an acute abdomen of a 40-year-old man. 

    “Upon my assessment, I found distention, bloating and a rigid, board-like abdomen. I immediately remembered that my professor, Andrea Tacchi, MSN, RN, told us to always assess patients no matter the age and that abdomens like this gentleman’s could mean peritonitis or perforation.” 

    Just as the patient was going to be released, Hillary took his vitals one last time and found he was tachycardic, meaning that his heart was beating more than 100 times per minute. His heart rate was at 158 beats per minute. “When we drew some labs, the patient’s results indicated that he was at risk for a stroke and we sent the patient to imaging for a CT scan. He was immediately rushed to the operating room. Had we sent him home, he would have died that night.”

    Hillary was featured in the ER’s newsletter, which caught the hospital’s attention. She was then awarded the “Good Catch” award by the hospital, which is given for “Nursing Excellence in Patient Safety.” Because of Tacchi’s strong influence on Hillary, she visited the Addison campus to personally thank her the next day. Chamberlain is proud to empower extraordinary nurses like Hillary to speak up and make a difference.

  • B.P. ED – Bringing Heart Health to a High Risk Community

    by Christina Fuchs | Oct 10, 2018

    Chamberlain Alumna Prissie Coomson Launches a Blood Pressure Education Program In Her Community Church 

    To help bring awareness about high blood pressure to a particularly at-risk community, Chamberlain nursing student Priscilla “Prissie” Coomson, MSN, RN, launched a successful education campaign at her church in the metropolitan Washington, DC area.

    Coomson explained that while certain people may have a genetic predisposition for hypertension, diet, exercise and stress management also play an important role. Within her church community – made up almost entirely of African immigrants – economic factors added an additional layer of complexity. For Coomson, this was an opportunity to educate her community in a way that others may not be able to.

    “Knowledge is so important,” Coomson said. “There are so many things I didn’t know before I went to nursing school that have made a major difference in my life. I want to share that knowledge with people.”

    Using the skills she had learned in the Chamberlain Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree program, Coomson consulted scientific research about nurses’ roles in health promotion, both in general and within the church environment, and selected appropriate theoretical frameworks to help facilitate lifestyle change.

    She encouraged participants to use healthier oils, in lower quantities, and to incorporate more vegetables into their diets. She hosted healthy-eating potlucks to bring the community together while reinforcing nutritional awareness. Meetings after church on Sunday allowed her to check in and offer encouragement.

    Coomson’s health intervention project was a success, as seen through pre- and post-surveys indicating a significant increase in healthy behaviors to reduce the risk for hypertension among participants. She credits much of her success to the personal relationships she developed with the participants. “I think it was a trust level and the fact that I was able to relate to this population.”

    What’s next? Now that her health education program has proven successful, she’ll be expanding it two other branches of the church later this year and broadening the focus to also include diabetes awareness.

    Learn more about the practice-focused curriculum in Chamberlain University’s Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree program at chamberlain.edu/DNP

    Prissie's tips for lowering your B.P.

    • Eat a nutritious, low sodium diet
    • Try to exercise regularly
    • Avoid smoking and limit alcohol
    • Manage your stress



  • Interactive Experience Day Inspires High School Students to Become Nurses

    by Christina Fuchs | Oct 10, 2018

    In February 2018, our Indianapolis campus held an interactive event with approximately 100 high school students in attendance. To inspire the next generation of nurses, Chamberlain’s SIMCARE CENTER™ staff gave high school students from Warren Central High School’s Walker Career Center a realistic look at nursing and nursing school. By actively participating in multiple simulation labs, students left the event with a glimpse of what it takes to be a nurse on a daily basis. 

    “The experience was fun and exciting,” said Warren Central High School junior Steffaughn Gaither. “You get to learn, participate and be active with people and others who are excited for you.”

    Experience Days are held at Chamberlain to promote careers in nursing and to address the nursing shortage across the country for Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN)-prepared and advanced practice nurses. It’s no secret that the need for nurses has been on the rise. In fact, the Indianapolis Department of Workforce Development expects that, by 2026, the state will see a 16.5 percent increase in the need for registered nurses.1

    “[Nursing is] a dire need [in Indianapolis],” said Christopher Bell, DNP, RN, EMT-P Indianapolis campus president. “We have shortages throughout hospitals in Indiana and recruiters from local health systems like Franciscan Health, Trilogy Health Services and Magnolia Health Systems come to us looking for new, potential nursing graduates.”

    Nursing careers that include obtaining a BSN degree, in particular, are an important option to offer high school students because they can jump right into the BSN program after high school – no prior coursework is required for the program. 

    Chamberlain’s Indianapolis staff designed a day full of nursing activities where they coached students through labor and delivery simulation and community disaster simulations. The visiting students learned tactics to think on their feet in stressful situations and, after the simulations, participated in a panel discussion with current students and faculty to understand the many benefits of exploring a career in nursing.

    The Indianapolis campus is looking forward to hosting more Experience Days in the future.

    1 http://www.hoosierdata.in.gov/dpage.asp?id=39&view_number=2&menu_level=&panel_number=2

  • Family Nights Create Foundation for Student Success

    by Christina Fuchs | Oct 10, 2018

    When students commit to a career of caring with Chamberlain University, they demonstrate a resolve to make a change in their lives. And that change ripples into the lives of their parents, children, spouses and other important family members, impacting not just the student but their support system at large.

    That’s why Chamberlain University offers Family Night for students on several of our campuses – to welcome the extended family members of our students into the Chamberlain community. Each of the events regularly draws more than 100 people, allowing students to show their families their academic “home” and share details about their program. Family Nights are a great way to bridge the gap between a student’s home and academic life, creating a foundation of support that is crucial for student achievement and success. Family Nights are just one of many campus offerings designed to foster a supportive, student-centered environment and students are encouraged to check with their campus to learn more about this event and other ways to get involved. 

  • A Future in Nursing Education Guided by Past Experiences

    by Christina Fuchs | Oct 10, 2018

    Jennifer Couvillon, PhD, MSN, RN-BC, shares her journey to president of the New Orleans campus.

    Impacting Lives in a Critical Way

    My career began as a nurse technician in a critical care unit, which led to serving patients in the cardiac intensive care unit (ICU) at Georgetown University Hospital. While in the ICU, an instructor needed coverage teaching students and I filled in. It was at this point that I learned about the importance of energizing learners.

    Teaching the Next Generation

    Teaching part-time led to a full-time appointment. I served as a clinical instructor and was promoted to course coordinator, assistant professor and ultimately director of the program. While academics was not my original calling, I found I could empower and personally impact more students. 

    A Commitment to Lifelong Learning

    I earned a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree with a family nurse practitioner specialty from Georgetown University and a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degree with a Nursing Education and Technology research focus from Duquesne University. Being a student while working heightened my empathy for my student’s needs. 

    I joined the Ochsner Health System as the assistant vice president of system nursing professional development where I designed an educational program that helped nurses fuel a passion for learning. I served on the nursing leadership council and helped to establish the Department of System Nursing Professional Development. 

    Embracing Opportunity

    When Chamberlain University opened on the west campus of Ochsner Medical Center in New Orleans the ultimate step in my career became a reality – serving as campus president. I was honored, invigorated and energized to – once again – learn along with my students. 

    Many nurses go into nursing to provide bedside care and may see teaching as an opportunity for later in their careers. I followed my passions and my experiences lead me to this very job. 

    Remember, learning is a lifelong journey. Your future is often guided by the past if you just embrace the opportunity to say “yes.”

  • Not Graduating Is Not an Option

    by Christina Fuchs | Oct 10, 2018

    Fighting cancer while finishing her Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN)

    After completing her general education courses at a community college, Loni Smith enrolled in the Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree program at Chamberlain University’s Phoenix campus in 2015.

    “From day one, I felt that I had the support of the staff, my professors and my cohort. If anything’s going to happen to you, it’s going to happen in nursing school,” she said with a laugh.

    And it did. Work, school and family obligations competed for her attention. Compressed discs and bone spurs on her spine made sitting in class difficult but her long commute put most pain medications out of the question. A standing desk at Chamberlain helped but doctors advised her to lose weight quickly in order to avoid extensive back surgery. Smith opted for gastric bypass, returning to class just a few days after release from the hospital.

    Ten months later, just when the end of her program was in sight, Smith discovered a swollen lymph node. In October 2017, one week before the start of her final capstone course, she received the diagnosis of stage 4 non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.

    Along with shock and fear, another feeling emerged – the determination to finish her nursing degree. “I met with my professors and clinical coordinator,” she said. “I told them, ‘Not graduating is not an option. I didn’t just go through the last two-and-a-half years for this to stop me.’ They were so supportive, so caring, like a family.”

    Classmates pulled together in a community of care to encourage and support her. Faculty held her to the same academic standards as other students but also allowed some flexibility with deadlines to help accommodate the rigors of chemotherapy. 

    The biggest challenge came from the course’s clinical component. Phoenix campus professor, Ellen Poole, explained that chemotherapy weakens the immune system, leaving individuals more open to illness, infection and other complications.

    “Our concern was Loni’s safety,” she said. “We were constantly re-evaluating the situation but as long as she was safe and met the guidelines, we did everything we could to support her.”

    With the official signoff of her oncologist, Smith was able to participate in her clinical rotations, but she needed to take special precautions. She herself wore a mask at times, and she was placed on the floor with nurses who were not caring for patients whose condition required caregivers to use gowns, masks and gloves.

    Over the eight weeks of the course, she spent four days in clinicals in between three rounds of chemo. She finished the class with an A- and crossed the stage for her graduation in early January. “It was rough, but the support I had from Chamberlain made the difference,” Smith said. “Having their support and knowing they were not only rooting for me but really doing what they could to help me finish – it was amazing. I wouldn’t have been able to do it without them.”

    For now, Smith is focusing on her health as she waits to go through the final two rounds of chemo. Once that’s done, she plans to conquer her next challenge – the NCLEX® licensing exam.

    And after that? Maybe a job as an oncology nurse. “I had a nurse when I was in the hospital in December who had gone through cancer. Her words of encouragement meant so much to me,” she explained.

  • Graduate Professor Receives High Honor from the ANA

    by Christina Fuchs | Oct 10, 2018

    Graduate professor Elizabeth Fildes, EdD, RN, CNE, CARN-AP, PHNA-BC, FIAAN, was recently, unanimously voted as the American Nurses Association (ANA) Political Action Committee (PAC) Leadership Fellow.

    Members of the ANA-PAC Leadership Society are recognized as pinnacles of political activism. Society members who are chosen by the ANA-PAC Board of Trustees (ANA-PAC BOT) show extraordinary political talent and skill, and recognize the important connection between nursing, policy, political participation and the ANA-PAC. All candidate applications are reviewed by the ANA-PAC BOT. If selected, members serve as an ANA-PAC Leadership Society Fellow (LS Fellow) and remain a part of the ANA Society Leadership Society as long as they are current ANA members and show an active commitment to serving as a Fellow. Congratulations to Dr. Fildes on this extraordinary honor!

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