Program Directors of the Month

Program Directors of the Month

October 2021

Massey_Ann_MUG_RGB__002_.jpgMegan Dorrington, MSN, MBA, RN, NPD-BC, CPN

Akron Children's Hospital 

Megan Dorrington is a nursing professional development specialist with over 16 years of nursing experience from Akron Children’s Hospital. A year after completing her Master of Science in Nursing degree, focused on education, Megan joined the Center of Nursing Professional Practice team as the Assuring Success with a Commitment to Enhance Nurse Diversity (ASCEND) Program Coordinator and Education Coordinator in 2016.  In this role, Megan coordinated the summer nursing student diversity internship program and supported transition to practice programming components of general nursing orientation and nurse residency program, including leading the scholarly project component of the nurse residency program. In 2017, Megan participated as a writing/editing team member for the organization’s ANCC PTAP Accreditation with Distinction document, awarded in 2018. Megan earned her certification in pediatric nursing as a staff nurse and earned her certification in nursing professional development in 2018.

In October 2019, Megan transitioned into the role of Nursing Residency Program Coordinator and led the writing/editing team for the organization’s 2021 ANCC PTAP re-accreditation journey, achieving the program’s second PTAP Accreditation with Distinction designation in May 2021. Megan also continues to coordinate the ASCEND Program, completing its sixth year this summer.

Megan is an active member of Society of Pediatric Nurses and Association for Nursing Professional Development, currently serving on both national organizations’ committees focused on diversity, equity, and inclusion. Megan is a co-lead with Tracey Whitley and Seema Pillai for the PTAP Program Directors Learning Community New Graduate Nurse Resident Retention Workgroup. She is also a Vizient/AACN Nurse Residency Program Curriculum Steering Committee member.  Megan has presented locally, regionally, and nationally and has served as a co-author on published articles on topics such as strategic workplace action planning, ASCEND, and nurse residency programs.

What are you doing regarding COVID in your program?

This summer, our pandemic-modified transition to practice programming components will be transitioning back to in person – we are so excited to return to face-to-face opportunities to engage with our nurses!  The team will continue to offer virtual options and other make-up opportunities to meet the nurses’ unique needs after learning how to incorporate these options during the pandemic. Simulation seminars have continued throughout the pandemic, and the transition to practice team plans to incorporate seminar modifications made into future seminars as well because the simulation modifications worked so nicely to support a positive learning experience!

What did getting the PTAP accreditation mean to you?

This second accreditation reflects the high-quality efforts of the transition to practice programming team supporting our nurses in their first year of their careers. Completing the re-accreditation journey after such an intentional and meaningful review of our program identified even more opportunities to support our nurse residents to provide high-quality patient- and family-centered care for the community members we serve. During the writing process, the team identified several moments to celebrate such as how nurse residents individually applied programming content at the bedside. These moments of celebration were a way for our team to bring joy and light by recognizing our nurses during the pandemic. 

It is an honor to serve our newest nurses and this accreditation reflects this honor.

What do you hope to do in the future to enhance your program?

Our transition to practice team is currently evaluating primary preceptor ongoing education and how we can refresh and reinforce the unique demands on this specific role, especially now that we are support new hires that completed their education during the pandemic. With the limitations in pediatric clinicals during the pandemic, we are evaluating how we can best minimize any gaps while supporting the nurses’ ability to become competent clinicians in the pediatric specialty setting. I am also excited to see how the Vizient/AACN Nurse Residency Program curriculum will be revised to reflect the updated AACN’s The Essentials: Core Competencies for Professional Nursing Education. Once this happens, we will evaluate our program and the needs of the residents to ensure we are continuing to provide an accreditation-worthy program for our nurses. 

September 2021

Massey_Ann_MUG_RGB__002_.jpgBuffy Krauser Lupear DNP, APRN, CRNA

Vanderbilt University Medical Center

A 1989 graduate from the University of Tennessee-Knoxville, Buffy received her Bachelor of Science of Nursing degree and joined Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC) in Nashville, Tennessee as a staff RN in the Emergency Department.  Following a brief hiatus to complete her Master’s Degree with a focus in Anesthesia, Buffy returned to VUMC in 1996 as a staff Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA). In 2014, she completed her Doctor of Nursing Practice at Vanderbilt University School of Nursing, in which her capstone project focused on patient quality and safety. 

During her tenure with VUMC Buffy has served in many leadership roles.  From 2000-2010 she served as the Lead CRNA for the Pediatric & Adult Cardiothoracic Division, from 2010-2015 she served as the Assistant Chief CRNA and from 2015-2019 she served as the Sr. Quality and Patient Advisor for VUMC’s Department of Anesthesia. 

In 2019 Buffy became the Director of Professional Development for VUMC’s Office of Advanced Practice where she helps cultivate the professional growth and professional development of more than 1300 APRNS & PAs.  Buffy also serves as the Program Director for the VUMC APRN Fellowship.  Following its inaugural year, the VUMC APRN Fellowship was awarded its Transition to Practice Accreditation with Distinction in January 2020.

Buffy is also very passionate and active in global health initiatives and has participated on more than 16 international pediatric surgical mission trips providing anesthesia care for underserved children who need orthopedic and cardiac procedures.  She enjoys traveling, hiking and spending time with her husband and puppies.

What are you doing regarding COVID in your program?

Our APRN Fellowship program is fortunate to have such amazing Clinical Coordinators.  As the pandemic emerged and the patient population needs shifted, I collaborated with the Clinical Coordinators to modify clinical rotation schedules to ensure the clinical needs of the patients, and the educational needs of the Fellows aligned.  We quickly transitioned all one-on-one meetings and core curriculum programs to a virtual platform which allowed me to stay connected with the Fellows and clinical coordinators to provide structure during a time when uncertainty was rampant.  Although I was able to stay connected, unfortunately, we were not able to have our planned in-person graduation celebration for each Fellow during 2020.  However, to celebrate their amazing work I have scheduled a graduation celebration for all of the VUMC APRN Fellows who graduated in 2020 & 2021 for Fall 2021 or Spring 2021 (just say when).

What did getting the PTAP accreditation mean to you?

Our nursing and institutional leadership value the importance of transition to practice for the retention and competency of VUMC APRNs; however, being awarded an accreditation with distinction provided the program with additional value and credibility.   Also, being awarded an accreditation provides me the added knowledge the focus of our APRN Fellowship program meets national standards and expectations.  Also, maintaining our accreditation, enhances our recruitment strategies and ensures the program remains relevant and credible.

What do you hope to do in the future to enhance your program?

For the VUMC APRN Fellowship to continue to add sub-specialty clinical practices, thereby having the capacity to offer transition to practice Fellowships in more specialized areas of practice.

August 2021

Massey_Ann_MUG_RGB__002_.jpgJoni Graff DHed, MSN, RN, NPD-BC

North Kansas City Hospital 

Dr. Joni Graff, Nurse Residency Program Director at North Kansas City Hospital, MO has over 42 years of nursing experience to include 28 years of Nursing Professional Development (NPD) experience and ANCC NPD certification since 2013. Dr. Graff earned her MSN with a Medical-Surgical Nursing major and a double minor in Nursing Administration and Nursing Education from the University of Texas Health Science Center, San Antonio, TX in 1986.  In 2017 Dr. Graff earned a Doctor of Health Education from A. T. Still University in Kirksville, MO. Her dissertation was titled The Effectiveness of a Self-Care Health Education Program on Graduate Nurses. Post-graduate coursework included research planning and design; educational governance, organizational dynamics, and social change; integrity and ethics in leadership; finance and budgeting; fund raising and endowment management; interpersonal communication skills in coaching; foundations of learning; instructional design; student assessment; faculty evaluation; educational technology; educational law; and educational program planning and evaluation.  

Dr. Graff’s work experience includes 21 years of active duty in the United States Air Force, where she retired in 2001 at the rank of Lieutenant Colonel, joining North Kansas City Hospital as a Nurse Educator shortly thereafter. While serving on active duty, Dr. Graff practiced primarily in the critical care settings and served in various leadership roles to include Critical Care Unit Manager, Director of Nursing Education, and Assistant Chief Nurse Officer.  The highlight of her career was serving as an Air Officer Commander at the USAF Academy, Cadet Squadron Three from 1994-1996 and as Flight Commander for the 332nd Officer Recruiting Squadron in Nashville, TN from 1996-1999. Dr. Graff is also a Desert Storm Veteran, and a member of ANA, ANPD, Heart of America Affiliate Chapter of ANPD, Society of Air Force Nurses, and a life member of the VFW.  Dr. Graff is the Nursing Education Specialist at NKCH who oversees nursing student placements and new nursing hire orientation, and she is the Nurse Residence Program Director.  Dr. Graff also serves as a Nurse Planner for NKCH, an Approved Provider of Nursing Continuing Professional Development by the Midwest Multistate Division, an accredited approver by the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Commission on Accreditation.

What are you doing regarding COVID in your program?  
  • We transitioned our Nurse Residency Program activities from on-site to virtual, encouraging the latter unless a nurse resident had difficulty with connectivity or did not have a device with which to log into a virtual class.  We recorded some program activities and created make-up courses within our learning management system to support staffing needs, especially in our Emergency Department and Critical Care units.  Utilizing technology, we were able to keep our nurse residents safe by reducing unnecessary large group exposure prior to the release of the COVID-19 vaccine in December 2020.
What did getting the PTAP accreditation mean to you?
  • Receiving PTAP accreditation for North Kansas City Hospital’s Nurse Residency Program (NRP) validates our excellence in transitioning newly graduated nurses to professional nursing practice.  At NKCH, we developed and maintain evidence-based activities and competencies to provide the knowledge, skills, attitude, and clinical reasoning necessary for nurses to provide safe, quality patient care.  Our virtual survey also substantiated our interprofessional shadowing experiences and mentor program provide the support nurse residents need to experience a positive transition into nursing practice.
What do you hope to do in the future to enhance your program?
  • It is our goal that nurse resident projects integrate scientific and experiential evidence to enhance NKCH’s nursing practice and culture.  To that end, we are enhancing our program to allow NRP projects to focus on evidence-based practice or performance improvement as determined by the residents themselves.  Based on feedback from residents who were part of the NRP during the rise and spread of COVID-19, we are moving the presentation on moral distress and resiliency to earlier in the program year.  We believe it is vitally important to include self-care activities and reflection time if residents are to remain in the nursing profession during the reality shock of entering the profession during the COVID-19 pandemic.

July 2021

Massey_Ann_MUG_RGB__002_.jpgAnn Massey MSN, M/S-BC, NPD-BC

Sanford Health

Current Position

Human Resources Learning Strategies Lead RN Clinical Educator with responsibilities as program director for the Sanford Health Nurse Residency Program (NRP) and program coordinator of Sanford Health Student Nurse Internship Programs (SSNIP/ESSNIP).

Role Functions/Profile         

Strategize opportunities to enhance the teaching-learning experience utilizing skills and

expertise with education of others, project management/leadership, project development,

design and implementation, program planning and Medical-Surgical Nursing.

 

Serves as program director for multi-site enterprise new graduate Nurse Residency Program

(NRP). Provides standardization and oversight of the Site Clinical Coordinators, as well as and

overall planning, implementation, and evaluation of the of the residency/fellowship program.

Leads efforts of curriculum development, design and implementation of 12-month NRP.

 

Directs implementation of standardized 10-week summer student nurse internship program

across organization. Provides direct didactic instruction and clinical supervision of nursing

students during professional internship experience.

 

Coordinates operations for extended student nurse internship across multiple states through

the academic year in concert with State Boards of Nursing.

Steers curriculum development for the Culture of Caring (CoC) educational model. This

transformational nursing education-practice partnership believes in an innovative teaching-

learning relationship at the patient’s side. The CoC curriculum focuses on 5 core dimensions

operationalized by 6 clinical focus areas with learning activities across 4 semesters. This

curriculum guides teaching-learning interactions between patient-nurse-student-faculty in

clinical practice and education.

 Professional Publications

Creating a Culture of Caring: A Shared Academic-Practice Clinical Curriculum. Letcher DC, Massey AM, Nelson MJ, Elverson CA. Nurse Educ. 2020 Sep/Oct;45(5):269-272. doi:  10.1097/NNE.0000000000000735. PMID: 31609276

What are you doing regarding COVID in your program?

  • Our program was new fall 2019 and we were in the process of building our last few curriculum seminars spring 2020 when the pandemic began. We were able to quickly pivot our content, methodology and delivery for the NRP. We focused our efforts on supporting the self-care/wellness of our residents to build resiliency, as well as providing residents tools to manage patient care around topics of ethical care and end of life.  In addition, we incorporated covid into our EBP and clinical reflection time.

 What did getting the PTAP accreditation mean to you?

  • Achieving PTAP Accreditation is an incredible honor for our organization. Sanford strives to provide a quality experience for our patients, communities and employees. Recruiting and retaining talented new graduate nurses is key for all organizations and we know the first year can be challenging. Our nurse residency program helps support the experience and highlights for residents that they are not alone. In addition, having an accredited residency program assist us with Magnet work for several of our sites.

 What do you hope to do in the future to enhance your program?

  • We will be building on the strong foundation to expand the residency into additional wps and sites across our footprint. This expansion may include ambulatory and long-term care settings. In addition, we hope to offer fellowships for those nurses transitioning into advanced roles.

June 2021

LCDR_Gulley_Bio_Pic.jpgLatarya D. Gulley MSN, RN

Lieutenant Commander, Nurse Corps, United States Navy

Clinical Nurse Specialist, Neonatal

Naval Medical Center Portsmouth


Lieutenant Commander Gulley, is a native of Hearne, Texas. She attended Jacksonville University, earning a Bachelor of Science Nursing Degree in May 2006. She graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 2014 with a Master's Degree in Nursing, Neonatal Clinical Nurse Specialist, and Palliative Care Minor.

 She received her commission in the United States Navy Nurse Corps via the Medical Enlisted Commissioning Program and reported to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center as a staff nurse in August 2006. In 2009, she was assigned to Naval Hospital, Naples, Italy as a multi-service unit staff nurse where she was selected for Duty Under Instruction (DUINS) to complete a Neonatal Clinical Nurse Specialist Program. In August 2012, she started the CNS program at the University of Pennsylvania and obtained her Master of Science in Nursing Degree in May 2014.  

 September 2014 she began her utilization tour at Naval Medical Center Portsmouth, Virginia where she also served as Division Officer of the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. In July 2017, she transferred to Branch Health Clinic Iwakuni on a forward deployed mission to open a new branch clinic with a brand new Maternal Infant Care service line. In August 2018, she returned to Naval Medical Center Portsmouth for a second tour serving as the Clinical Nurse Specialist in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. In July 2019 she transitioned to the role of Program Director for the Nurse Residency Program at Navy Medical Center Portsmouth VA where she is currently serving.  She is happily married to her husband, Sammy Gulley and has two sons, Ke’von and Jaylen Gulley.

 Lieutenant Commander Gulley’s personal decorations include Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal (one award), Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal (four awards), Meritorious Unit Commendation (1 award). She is an active member of the National Association of Neonatal Nurses and the American Association of Critical Care Nurses.

What are you doing regarding COVID in your program?

The Nurse Residency Program provided manning support for the hospital’s COVID-19 telephone triage call center and drive-through screening at initial implementation. We limited unnecessary gatherings of large groups per CDC guidelines by converting our in person weekly meetings and monthly Grand Rounds to a virtual platform. We remain flexible and ready to support the COVID-19 mission at our hospital as needed.

What did getting the PTAP accreditation mean to you?

Gaining the accreditation as a Practice Transition Program by the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Commission of Accreditation in Practice Transition Programs meant that our program is providing the quality Nurse Residency Program that our new nurses deserve. This program sets our novice nurses up for success ensuring that they are prepared to provide competent, safe nursing care to our patient population, and have developed a network of resources needed for continued professional development and growth. Accreditation positively impacts mission readiness and greatly contributes to high reliability for our military organization.

What do you hope to do in the future to enhance your program?

A few immediate goals for our program are to establish continuing education hours for our monthly Grand Rounds, and develop a mentorship program within the Nurse Residency Program utilizing graduated and senior Nurse Residents. We are planning for accreditation with distinction for the next re-accreditation cycle as well!

May 2021

Cindy Goldberg MSN, RN-BC

Cindy Goldberg is Director of the Clinical Nurse Transition Program (CNTP), the nurse residency program for Walter Reed National Military Medical Center (WRNMMC) in Bethesda, MD.  During the military’s first joint nurse residency program, new nurses at WRNMMC enroll in a  26-week robust program of instruction that consists of a blended learning road map, inpatient and outpatient clinical rotations, and an intensive inpatient preceptorship.  Since its inception in 2011, Cindy guided more than 500 Army and Navy nurses through the nurse residency program.  

Cindy entered the Army Nurse Corps through the Army Student Nurse Program while an undergrad at Penn State University.  She followed in the steps of her mother and grandmother who were nurses and her father, an Army veteran who served in World War II under General Patton in the Battle of the Bulge.  Cindy, as one of seven children, often watched war movies with her dad, which influenced her decision to go into the military.

Cindy held many interesting positions as an active duty Army Nurse, including the Head Nurse of the Trauma Intensive Care Unit in El Paso, Texas and she was one of the first Med Surg Clinical Nurse Specialists at Walter Reed in Washington, DC.   After retirement from the military, Cindy held positions as a Gerontology CNS at Providence Hospital, Staff Health Lead for Disaster Nursing at the American Red Cross, Director of Organizational Development at Nextel/Sprint and Nurse Researcher for the Acute Pain Service at Walter Reed Army Medical Center.  She was the recipient of many awards including the prestigious Legion of Merit and the Order of Military Medical Merit.   The Army also funded her nursing graduate degree from The Catholic University of America while she served on active duty.  Cindy has held past ANCC certifications as a Clinical Nurse Specialist and in Pain Management.

As the Program Director for CNTP, Cindy successfully applied for ANCC Accreditation for the program and Walter Reed’s was the first nurse residency program in the military’s Defense Health Agency to achieve accreditation with distinction in 2019.  Cindy has also been an independent contractor appraiser for the ANCC PTAP for the past two years, successfully serving as Team Leader on a number of appraisals.

What are we doing regarding COVID in our Nurse Residency Program?

In the early summer of 2020, WRNMMC had to deploy many military nurses, including a number of our seasoned nurse Preceptors to support the COVID 19 pandemic in New York City and many sites in Texas.  In response to the exodus of military nurses in many health care facilities, the Army Nurse Corps Chief, Brigadier General Jack Davis mandated that the CNTP scale back to 14 weeks.  Four of our nurse cohorts completed CNTP after 14 weeks.  The new nurses transitioned well to be independent on their units, and administrative and clinical nursing leaders and staff provided support. Since September 2020, we have gone back to the 26-week program.  Nurse residents complete educational modules on the acute care of COVID patients.  The Resiliency Services team provides a robust weekly calendar that features topics, such as stress management and relaxation, mindfulness, sleep hygiene and nutrition sessions, etc.   The CNTP Staff provide a vigorous platform of educational seminars, including professional development mentoring virtually through the Microsoft Teams platform.  Face-to-face educational simulation scenarios continue in small groups.  Nurses also provide biweekly reflection surveys during their clinical orientation.

What did getting the PTAP accreditation mean to you?

ANCC is the gold standard for certification in the nursing community and it has profoundly influenced the standard of care that I have followed for many years as a senior nurse leader.  Initially our program was controversial, especially in terms of the length we proposed to a joint military nursing community in 2011.  Using the Army’s Clinical Nurse Transition Program template, we were able to follow guidelines put in place for nine other Army medical facilities as well.  Becoming accredited allows us to follow national standards and protects our program from random change without careful consideration of the impact.  As a military medical treatment facility, we have a high turnover rate with our nursing staff, including senior nurse leaders and so the accreditation allows for continuity of care in following patient care standards in our nurse residency program.

What do you hope to do in the future to enhance your program?

We are currently in the window for reaccreditation in 2022 so we will drill down to see what is working well in the program and where we might need to make changes.  One of the areas where we need to focus and strive for a more dynamic effort is in interprofesssional collaboration, especially with non-nursing staff and stakeholders.  We would also like to enhance and standardize our mentorship model, inviting senior nurses to provide guidance, support and role modeling for our junior nurses.

 

 

April 2021

C2wEEsxg_jpeg.jpgKate Spencer MSN RN
Pentec Health, Inc. 

Kate Spencer, having served almost 40 years in the profession of Nursing is dedicated to her current role at Pentec Health as an Executive Nurse Director, Educational Operations and Program Director of the  Intrathecal Nurse Fellowship. Pentec Health is a national specialty infusion corporation providing care to patients with implanted intrathecal devices for the treatment of chronic pain or spasticity conditions.

Initiated in 2017, she successfully led the transformation of an ANCC accredited Nursing Skills Competency Program into Pentec’s Intrathecal Nurse Fellowship in 2019, earning the honor of the award with Distinction.  Fellowship Accreditation validates that our program is spearheading the standard of care for Intrathecal Therapy on a national level and demonstrates our commitment to quality patient care through continuous professional development of our nursing team.    

Kate has practiced in specialty home infusion therapy for the majority of her nursing career. She passionately believes in the ability to increase positive patient outcomes through the long term nurse-patient relationship afforded by the home care environment. Population health benefits from bringing healthcare to the patient. Kate is looking forward sharing her passion and expertise in her new role supporting the ANCC as the Non-Acute Commissioner for Practice Transition Program Accreditation team.

Kate enjoys living at the coast in Wilmington, North Carolina with her husband and brand new Portuguese Water Dog, Tallulah, spending all their free time outdoors and at the beach.

What are you doing regarding COVID in your program?

As an entirely remote nursing department already, we were unusually poised to respond to the virtual environment. Our staff was well accustomed to meeting via zoom before the pandemic. So initially, one of our challenges was navigating the clogging of resources by all of the “newbie virtuals”. J.

As a result of the pandemic, the fellowship team has adjusted the format of didactic instruction from an in person clinical classroom setting at our corporate office, to a full virtual format for several cohorts since last March. Our goal is to return to the original teaching platforms by this summer once the office reopens and the safety of our fellows can be guaranteed.  

 What did getting the PTAP accreditation mean to you?

Accreditation validated our pursuit of excellence in professional development and positive patient outcomes. The Fellowship advisory group tirelessly led process improvements to meet each criterion and close practice gaps. The win of accreditation was owned by the entire nursing department and created sense of collective pride in our achievement.

What do you hope to do in the future to enhance your program?

Our Fellowship team continuously monitors for enhancement opportunities with each new cohort. Currently our mentorship program is in revision with enhancements designed for education in complex scenario management, Covey training, and an introduction to shared governance. The integrative care team is also rewriting and should begin filming new modules for asynchronous learning modules for use beginning in April. And finally, we have recently secured 24contact hours for the competency training modules that are the basis of our nursing skills competency program. 2021 will prove to be a busy year!     

March 2021

C2wEEsxg_jpeg.jpgJacqueline M. Puppe MSN, RN-BC
Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN 

I am originally from Grand Forks, North Dakota and I attended University of Mary in Bismarck, North Dakota to complete my undergraduate degree. I was fortunate to engage in a nursing internship between my junior and senior year of nursing school at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. I fell in love with nursing and the Mayo values of “the needs of the patient come first.” My nursing career began in 2002 when I returned to Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN as a clinical RN on an ENT/Plastics/General Surgery unit. After a few years, I followed my dream of becoming a critical care nurse and transferred to the Surgical/Trauma ICU. I had my sight set on CRNA; however, was pleasantly surprised during my first year in critical care when I realized that I loved to teach. With encouragement from my nurse manager, I started teaching clinicals for Luther College and serving in the preceptor role where I found my passion for working with students. While working in the ICU, I attended graduate school and earned my Master’s Degree in Nursing at University of Phoenix. After graduation, I was privileged to work as a Master’s prepared nurse at the bedside in the ICU while teaching didactic and clinicals part-time for five years. Once I became a mom, I pursued a career that would blend my passions. I transitioned into a leadership role as a Nursing Education Specialist supporting a Thoracic and General Surgery Progressive Care Unit and Surgical Admissions/Outpatient areas. Almost three years ago, I transitioned to my current role in support of our Nurse Residency Program. I provide the accreditation oversight and lead our Critical Care Nurse Residency. I have a passion for active learning environments and inspiring individualization of learning needs. I love my job in helping new nurses transition into the profession!

I am a mom of two amazing daughters who teach me so much, especially over this last year! My daughter Ashlynn is in 6th grade and loves to be active with theatre, dance, and piano. My daughter Riley is in 4th grade and loves to be creative with Barbie’s and art and also takes piano lessons (she likes the recitals but not the practice). In our spare time, we spend time baking, biking, playing games, and snuggling while watching movies. We are so blessed to spend time with our extended family as most of my family moved to Rochester….or as my dad says, “moving south.” I am our family’s photographer and enjoy scrapbooking. I am a big advocate for role modeling self-care. I started yoga and prayer/meditation time, which I quickly realized with COVID, brings so much joy to my life. I also enjoy having virtual connections with my “go-to-committee” in life. Prior to COVID, I loved to travel and am looking forward to that safely resuming in the near future.

Short answers to the following questions:

What are you doing regarding COVID in your program?

When COVID first hit, we quickly adapted our transition to practice programs while balancing safety. We provided departmental and specialty orientation while maintaining social distance. In addition, we provided resources online and just-in-time/roving education. In the fall, we launched the rest of our transition to practice programs virtually. We have had to pivot quickly during times of COVID surges, where we have continued asynchronous content but paused synchronous seminars and limited discussion boards to allow for patient care needs. The one thing that truly has been amazing throughout this pandemic is that even though the support of the nurse resident has looked different, they have felt supported. This was provided not only through education, preceptors, and unit leadership support but from all colleagues “checking in” to make sure the nurse residents are okay and asking how they are doing. This has been incredible to witness.

What did getting the PTAP accreditation mean to you?
My experience is a bit different than most. My first week in my current role of supporting nurse residency was the accreditation call sharing the great news! It was such a wonderful experience to witness the excitement in the room. It was palpable that this was something big and it moved me to tears. It brought a lot of honor to know that I would be helping with such a meaningful cause of supporting new graduates and the value it held at my organization. 

What do you hope to do in the future to enhance your program?

I’m excited for the future opportunity to provide a hybrid nurse residency program. Our team has found that providing our virtual nurse residency has given a different feel—more radio host feel. We like how we have structured content for our limited seminar time. This is now prime real estate! This has allowed us to decrease the lecture feel, enhance discussions with using feedback features, and to discuss overcoming the challenges/barriers more. Our team is looking forward to “grow and learn” how we can tweak our virtual curriculum to best meet our learners’ needs as well as the program outcomes we desire as we journey with our first cohorts.

 

February 2021

C2wEEsxg_jpeg.jpgKelly Bugos
Stanford Health 

Kelly Bugos is a manager of Advanced Practice at Stanford Health Care. She serves several roles including Director of the Advanced Practice Providers (APPs) Fellowship Program. Opened in 2016, the APP Fellowship Program supports transition to practice, professional development and acquisition of specialty knowledge. Kelly also leads the APP Mentorship Program, inpatient APP teams and continues her practice of providing cancer survivorship care as a nurse practitioner.

Kelly founded the cancer survivorship clinics at Stanford in 2012 and continues to focus her clinical work on helping people touched by cancer to restore their health after treatment. 

Kelly has developed other professional roles and programs over her career at Stanford, like the nurse practitioner role in oncology in the 1990s. She has expertise in symptom management, complex patient care in the outpatient setting, long term and late effects of cancer and its treatment and advanced nursing practice issues.  She is a frequent speaker on these topics at the regional and national level.

Kelly received a BS in Nursing from the University of Rochester in Rochester, NY and MS in Oncology Nursing and Adult Nurse Practitioner from the University of California at San Francisco (UCSF).

She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband and four children, where she most enjoys moving through the redwood forests and standing completely still to hear the silence.

 What are you doing regarding COVID in your program?

 Our program’s priority is to support the fellows’ wellness, and our own. There is a strong focus on safe practice in the clinical setting, frequent communication about changes, continuing the curriculum and rotations with pivots to virtual approaches, mentorship and reflection on the growth from the rapid change. Perhaps most important is the program and peer support among the fellows. Typically, we have a holiday party on January 6. This year we converted the celebration to a virtual game night. We played for over 2 hours! These actions are made easy because our organization has provided unwavering support of the APP Fellowship.

What did getting the PTAP accreditation mean to you?

The accreditation process improved our program. The PTAP accreditation with distinction is validation of our program structure and quality. Senior leaders and the Center for Advanced Practice frequently recognize the accreditation (and I feel proud).  All the program members want to uphold the standards and we aspire to make the program ever better.

What do you hope to do in the future to enhance your program?

There is a gap in training APPs to provide specialty care. Fellowships like ours bridge the gap.

Using the PTAP structure, the APP Fellowship at Stanford consistently operationalizes training across specialties. Our plan is to incrementally add new specialties and new sites of practice over the next years to further meet the needs of APPs transitioning to practice.

Besides, every preceptor in the program wishes they could be a fellow!

November 2020

C2wEEsxg_jpeg.jpgJames K. Tudhope
Portage Path Behavioral Health

James K Tudhope has been a registered nurse since 2001, a licensed professional counselor since 2008, and a Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner(PMHNP) since 2013. Jim began his nursing career in 2001 working inpatient critical care within a hospital setting, and eventually transitioned to working with an in-patient psychiatric patient population.

He obtained a Master's Degree in Clinical Counseling in 2008 and worked several years as an outpatient therapist in a community mental health center in northeast Ohio. He went on to obtain his Master's of Science in Nursing, and in 2013, began his work as a PMHNP-BC at an outpatient community mental health center. In 2015, he completed Case Western Reserve University's Public and Community Psychiatry Fellowship Program that specializes in the clinical, administrative, and academic preparation of community psychiatrist clinicians. Jim completed his Doctorate in Nursing Practice in 2019.

Jim is currently the Medication Clinic Coordinator at a Portage Path Behavioral Health, community mental health agency, and provides leadership and management to a team of PMH Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRNs). In addition, Jim is the Program Director for Integrated Community Psychiatry Nurse Practitioner Fellowship (ICPNPFP) that he started in September 2018 with initial seed money funding from Peg’s Foundation, a private philanthropic organization committed to promoting behavioral health. In September 2020, the ICPNPFP became the first psychiatric APRN Fellowship program to receive ANCC PTAP accreditation.

His practice-based research focuses on professional development for nurses and development and design of advanced practice registered nurse (APRN) post-graduate education programs. Specifically, he investigates better alignment for early entry APRNs in community mental health with patients who have established complex integrative needs. His focus includes development, design, and measurement of APRN post-graduate training programs to help ensure successful transition to practice, as well as process measures related to role development and outcome measures associated with APRN retention and patient quality and safety. His research examining effective APRN post-graduate training programs is bolstered by his continuing practice in the field of psychiatric nursing.

Jim is the Project Director and member of an interprofessional team that received funding by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services for their project, Integrated Community Psychiatry Nurse Practitioner Program.  The program is increasing the number of new behavioral health nurse practitioners in northeast Ohio who are prepared to work in integrated, community-based settings. This grant expands and enhances the existing 12-month fellowship program designed for recently graduated nurse practitioners to improve competencies, self-confidence, and role socialization.

He has been a part-time faculty member at Kent State University since 2015, teaching the core graduate courses in the Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Master's degree program within the College of Nursing. In August 2019, Jim started work as a full-time faculty member, and in January 2020, he assumed the role of the PMHNP Concentration Coordinator.

He lives in Copley, OH with his wife Kristin and their 3 kids, and can frequently be found pushing a stroller through the Cuyahoga Valley National Park.

What are you doing regarding COVID in your Nurse Fellowship program?

We have transitioned to telehealth and are following federal, state, and local guidelines to help ensure our clinicians and community members that we serve stay healthy and safe during this pandemic. Telehealth has been an adventure!

What did getting the PTAP accreditation mean to you?

From the beginning of the program, accreditation was our goal. We built our program from the ground up with this in mind, and knew we wanted to work with ANCC PTAP. We are thrilled to have achieved this goal, and are so happy to be working with the ANCC PTAP Team!

What do you hope to do in the future to enhance your program?

We are excited to be working with the ANCC PTAP Team, and accreditation will help us further attract new NPs that are interested in working in community psychiatry. We were also fortunate to receive a HRSA grant. These two things will allow our program to grow and remain sustainable, further expand our network of partners, and continue our important goal of preparing new PMHNPs to provide intergraded psychiatric care to underserved communities in NE Ohio.

October 2020

C2wEEsxg_jpeg.jpgNaomi Fox
St. Barnabas Medical Center
I am a mother, wife, daughter, sister, friend, nurse and educator. I am a runner, a yogi, a self-proclaimed bargain shopper, a dog and cat owner and a Netflix fanatic. My nursing education story started when I was an Emergency Medical Technician for the Fire Department of New York City in 2000. After being exposed to illness, trauma, and health care disparities, I wanted to do more. I went back to school and graduated with my Bachelor of Science in Nursing with a dual major in Sociology. Having an affinity for intensity, my goal was to get hired on a burn unit. In 2008, as a new graduate RN, I was hired onto the Burn Step Down Unit at Saint Barnabas Medical Center (SBMC) in Livingston, New Jersey and within a year transitioned into the Burn Intensive Care Unit. I spent three years working with the best nurses and learned what it meant to be a valuable member of a team, a preceptor and a mentor. The impact of experiences during transition for new nurses’ forever shape them and this experienced forever guided me.

After four years I wanted to challenge myself further and transferred into the Cardiothoracic Intensive Care Unit caring for post-open heart and post-cardiac surgical patients. My clinical skills and overall competence and confidence grew throughout this time period.  I learned the role of charge nurse, unit practice council member and peer reviewer. The organization was now on the journey towards Magnet designation and I was actively analyzing my role. During this time, my 6 year old son was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes and we spent a week in the hospital. Parallel to this, my father suffered and subsequently passed away from complications of Alzheimer’s. Both experiences further enhanced my view of nurses. In turn, I became more passionate, patient, understanding and motivated. I started thinking about my career trajectory and wanted to make a broader positive impact on nursing, patient outcomes, and overall people’s lives. An opportunity became a reality in the Department of Nursing Education and Research. I looked towards the future as I accepted a position as a Clinical Instructor covering several units.

The Department of Nursing Education and Research allowed me to have the autonomy to grow into my role. I trialed ways to educate, instruct, support, direct, and train nurses. It was most important to me that each nurse I worked with to onboard and orient felt they had the tools needed to be successful to grow. I became certified as a Critical Care Registered Nurse and earned my Masters in Nursing Education. I took on a variety of roles within the department with increasing responsibility. When I became the Program Director for the SBMC Professional RN Residency Program, I committed to giving the nurses my all. There is nothing that I would not do to help them be the best version of themselves in order to provide the safest and most compassionate nursing care.

What are you doing regarding COVID in your Nurse Residency program?

COVID-19 has impacted my workflow as a professional development practitioner. The ability to have that consistent face-to-face communication including building professional, personal and trusting connections, have been affected by social distancing restrictions and limited classroom space. As such, I am increasing the use of technology and innovation by using YouTube videos, texting, emailing, holding contests, creating an RN resident newsletters containing photos of each resident, utilizing GoToMeetings for lectures and meetings, and reformatting our internal intranet page to engage residents, nurses and stakeholders.                   

Additionally, I have increased the amount of times I communicate with the RN Residents via phone calls, drop in office hours and impromptu GoToMeetings.

In order to assess and evaluate psychomotor and affective knowledge, skills and attitudes, more frequent sessions are occurring with a group size limited to 9 or less per session. This has allowed me to form more intimate group connections when we do meet in person.

Another key adjustment that has been made is a Clinical Instructor was dedicated to rounding on the RN Residents who work on the night shift. This allowed a direct line of communication and support to occur in the practice setting for the night shift residents.

Flexibility and fluidity are key. The length of orientation, as well as the amount of sessions and classes, increased to factor in the patient population that the residents were exposed to from March - June 2020. Because the residents were caring for the same type of patient, this required specialty practice education to be deferred to when the organization restarted routine census. The program curriculum was altered in order to address priority events and challenges. For example, resiliency and moral distress was added to sessions.

What did getting the PTAP accreditation mean to you?

Gaining PTAP accreditation with distinction was a magical moment for me and my team. It validated that we are utilizing best practice within our scope. It was a confidence booster for newer Clinical Instructors and a moment of pride for senior Clinical Instructors. Having experienced COVID-19 and not being able to control or predict so many things directly impacting our workflow, our peers and the nursing staff, was challenging.  Submitting the PTAP manuscript became something that we just could not give up on. When the moment came to fruition, and the results of the process were announced, it was so worth it to know that the ANCC PTAP team believed in our work.

In essence, it meant that my team and I are doing things right. Hearing and processing the accreditation decision was priceless.

 

What do you hope to do in the future to enhance your program?

I have learned so much throughout the accreditation process and in the last year. The effects of COVID-19 on operationalization of onboarding, orientation, continuing education and transition to practice have set the need for innovation to be on speed dial. I have so many ideas and I hope to enhance my program by creating the same quality of support and education through the increased use of technology. I would like to introduce virtual reality as an assessment tool and build simulation into 80% or more of the courses for the RN residents. I would like resident graduates to formally mentor resident participants throughout the program. I hope to streamline processes in the organization that will track and promote growth of RN resident graduates. I also seek to enhance the program by advocating for an RN residency program budget. Finally, I would like to build in a community service activity and other outdoor events into the curriculum. 

 

 

July 2020

Lora Gullette

I began my journey to a nursing career at the age of 16 in our community nursing home. This is where I found my passion to care for others during their most vulnerable times. The residents were so trusting and dependent on my skills, to live their life to the fullest. I found great joy, appreciation and was humbled by being able to care for them and their families.

 My nursing career was nontraditional. I worked as a nursing assistant while going to practical nursing school, then worked as a licensed practical nurse (LPN) while attending school to become a registered nurse (RN). My first position, as an RN, was in the Nursing Float Pool at North Country Regional Hospital (NCRH). During this time, I found my passion for maternal fetal health. I spent ten years working in various roles, such as the OB Clinical Coordinator – this is where my desire to learn more about leadership and management blossomed. While working at NCRH, I obtained my Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN). In 2011, my family moved to the St. Cloud area and I began a new path working in inpatient pediatrics and pediatric intensive care unit (PICU). I continued my academic journey achieved my Master of Science in Nursing Leadership and Management degree. In 2016, I recognized that I needed to challenge myself and utilize my new degree, so I joined the CentraCare Education Department as the Graduate Nurse/Intern and Student Supervisor. Through this position, I have discovered my love of education, leadership, and management, and luckily all three are a part of my role. The St. Cloud Hospital Nurse Residency Program is my pride and joy. I absolutely love leading new nurses as they navigate through their first year of professional nursing within our organization.

 
What are you doing regarding COVID in your Nurse Residency program?

Initially, we cancelled two months of classes to allow our team time to prepare, to gain insight from the Incident Command Center and to brainstorm our program going forward.  We were able to partner with CentraCare’s Information Systems Department to develop a virtual classroom atmosphere using the Microsoft® Applications Program. Leaders believe the continuation of necessary support and resources to our nurse residents is important as they provide care on units throughout the organization. On June 4th, we implemented our virtual classroom and e-learning through videos, journaling, group chat, and pre and post tests for competency measurement.

 

What did getting the PTAP accreditation mean to you?

PTAP accreditation with Distinction for St. Cloud Hospital Nurse Residency Program is an honor that our organization is extremely proud to have achieved. This recognition signifies our organizations’ commitment to providing the nurse residents with the highest quality transition to practice education available. It is a testament to our dedication for nursing excellence and continuous work towards excellent patient outcomes. I am honored and privileged to work alongside the nurse residents on this journey to continued excellence through our Graduate Nurse Residency Program

 What do you hope to do in the future to enhance your program?

Our future is bright; we hope to add additional programs such as a Long-Term Care Fellowship, an Ambulatory Nurse Residency and to obtain accreditation for our Advanced Practice Provider (APP) Residency Program. We strive to continually grow and mature, as a program, by constantly challenging ourselves to think outside the box, to be innovative, resilient, and eager to learn in the ever-changing world we live in today.  

 

June 2020

Angelica Acosta

I began my Nursing career 16 years ago in Pasadena, California, as a New Graduate RN in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). While in the NICU, my passion for teaching became evident from teaching parents at the bedside, becoming a Preceptor to New Graduate RNs, taking a lead instructor role during our Baby-Friendly campaign. As the years went on, my love and passion for Education sparked personal goals as well. Earning a master's degree in Nursing Education and transitioning into a role within my organization as a Nursing Professional Development Specialist. In 2016 I accepted the position of New Graduate RN Residency Program Director. It is a privilege to work with an innovative Clinical Education and Practice and a nursing leadership team committed to New Graduate RN Resident's success within our organization.

 
What are you doing regarding COVID in your Nurse Residency program?

 Initially, during the COVID Pandemic, our Residency Program for spring 2020 had just begun on March 10, 2020. The decision was to postpone the PTAP Residency Program in response to the Covid-19 crises due to the projected impact on the organization. The innovative Clinical Education and Practice and a nursing leadership team committed to New Graduate RN Resident's success reutilized our New Graduate RN Resident's in alternate roles. Some of the alternative roles throughout the organization were Lead Temperature Screener, Lead PAPR Trainers, Nursing Extenders within their home units allowing the Residents to continue to be a participant in the organizational needs.

 

What did getting the PTAP accreditation mean to you?

 We are proud that ANCC recognizes our Nurse Residency PTAP Program as one of the highest-quality transition programs for nurses within California. PTAP accreditation gives our nurse residents assurance that Huntington Hospital offers an innovative residency program experience founded on excellence. PTAP recognition for our organization is evidence of our commitment to our core values Excellence, Professionalism, Integrity, Compassion, and Collaboration amongst the PTAP team, which includes Residents, Preceptors, Leadership team, and all those who support the Residency program.

 

What do you hope to do in the future to enhance your program?

 As uncertainty surrounded the PTAP program during the initial stages of COVID, the Residents showed incredible versatility during these difficult and uncertain times. They triumphed and proved to be resilient, dedicated, and above all, willing and ready to learn. We look forward to enhancing our program with innovative ways to learn remotely and identify areas where we could incorporate other uses of technology. Incorporating reflective journaling and organizing the residents to share their stories and thoughts of the unique professional and personal experience during the pandemic.

 

May 2020

Mary Rose Papciak

My passions include staff engagement and ‘inspiring it forward’ to enhance the nursing profession. I believe in the difference nurses make and remain committed to the success of new graduate nurses, not only at NYP, but throughout our nation. I am also an avid runner and Pilates enthusiast. 

 

I moved to NYC as a new graduate nurse 16 years ago and began my professional journey at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital as a neuroscience clinical nurse, joining the NYP family. I quickly acclimated to critical care while working in a step-down unit and transitioned to the ICU. As I gained experience, I found myself in leadership roles such as charge nurse and council chair. During my time working with critically ill patients I came to understand the true art and science of nursing. It is a blessing to care for others and their loved ones during such vulnerable times in their lives. I became interested in advanced practice nursing and switched my focus to a role in private practice. During that time, I gained a lot of experience and yet I found myself missing the excitement and acuity of the inpatient world of nursing. In short, I wanted a new challenge.

 

Earning a master’s degree offered just that as I started my graduate studies at NYU Robert F. Wagner School of Public Service in 2009 and assumed the role of Clinical Manager of a progressive-care amenities unit. I was fascinated by the idea that we would focus on a patient experience that was both comforting and clinically exceptional. I was surrounded by a team of nurses that were determined to be the best they can be while providing truly holistic care.

 

After earning my master’s degree in Public Administration, I served in the role of Patient Care Director for over 5 years on an inpatient medical-stepdown unit.  I enjoyed rounding on patients while simultaneously improving the patient experience and managing the operations of the unit, focusing on staff development and mentoring each individual nurse to achieve their goals.

 

All of this prepared me for my current position as the Program Director for Professional Nursing Practice Innovation. I am now responsible for the transition to practice program of new graduate nurses for seven sites across New York City. I couldn’t be happier and I believe this is the perfect role for me. I have been fortunate to have had many mentors throughout my nursing journey who have helped me achieve my goals. Each day in this new role, I’m thankful to have the opportunity to give back to new nurses, inspire them and watch them grow. Through the NRP, I can support and educate nurses to improve bedside care. I have the ability to promote health and well-being as a nurse by demonstrating care for those that are caring for others.

 

It’s an honor and a blessing to be surrounded by their knowledge, energy and enthusiasm for the profession! Their positivity, curiosity and resilience drives me to work hard every day and to elevate my own nursing practice.

 

What did getting the PTAP accreditation mean to you?

 

PTAP accreditation is a distinguished honor and the greatest source of recognition for residency programs. We at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital take pride in transitioning new-to-practice nurses to become world-class providers in healthcare. Receiving PTAP accreditation is a testament to both our commitment to nursing excellence and high-quality patient outcomes. Our mission to serve our communities in an empowering and innovative professional nursing environment is fulfilled by our dedicated team of nurses and validated by the PTAP accreditation.

 

What do you hope to do in the future to enhance your program?

 

Reflecting upon the current demands and chaos of the COVID-19 pandemic, I am amazed by the success of our new-to-practice nurses, which makes opportunities for the nurse residency program seem endless! New nurses at NYP have quickly acclimated to an extremely complex care environment and acuity beyond what many of us have ever seen. They have not been discouraged, but have found motivation to be the best they can be. They are providing amazing care based upon their education, training and skill sets beyond expectations! We will utilize the courage demonstrated by nurses during this time to integrate more mentorship opportunities for lifelong learning.  

 

Once the pandemic subsides, we will further reflect on lessons learned and I hope that we can utilize the clinical knowledge, skills gained, and dynamic teaching strategies we have been forced to dive into to provide a dynamic, innovative platform for our program that challenges the status quo.

 

April 2020

Amy Sutor

I began my nursing career in 2001 as a newly graduated nurse from the University of Delaware and was blessed to join an amazing organization (ChristianaCare) and work with a supportive care team for six years on the cardiac stepdown unit. During that time I developed in my professional role as an expert at the bedside, achieving my master’s degree in nursing leadership and education in 2006. Serving as a frequent preceptor and charge nurse fueled my desire for teaching others and required me to develop my leadership skills. In 2007, with a little encouragement and confidence boosting from my mentor, I transitioned into the cardiac Intensive Care Unit. My time in the cardiac ICU was where I fell in love with the organized chaos, technology, responsibility, and energy of critical care.

My five-year plan at the time focused on becoming a clinical expert in critical care then obtaining a university teaching position at my alma mater in either a critical care nursing elective or organic chemistry. In 2011 an even more amazing opportunity arose in the form of an open position as the unit-based Nursing Professional Development Specialist for the Cardiac and Cardiovascular ICUs and Open-Heart Stepdown units. I was able to achieve my goal of teaching critical care while remaining in a critical care work environment. And, so I served in that position for seven amazing and transformative years.

In October of 2018 I accepted the position of Nursing Professional Development Manager for our Nurse Residency Program and Primary Nurse Planner of our Approved Provider Unit for Continuing Nursing Education. I am privileged to work with a visionary nursing executive team and lead 8 passionate Site Clinical Coordinators to drive excellence in our 10 specialty nurse residency tracks and to inspire our new nurses to become future leaders. I serve as our Program Manager and as the Site Clinical Coordinator for our Critical Care and Progressive Care residency tracks.

What does PTAP accreditation mean to us? It is an honorable recognition that we at ChristianaCare are actively living our organizational values and behaviors of Love and Excellence to provide the best experience and training for our new to practice nurses. While Love in healthcare may seem controversial, we recognize this value as the deep interconnectedness and partnership we build not only with our customers, but with ourselves and each other. Love and Excellence provide our framework for optimal outcomes, excellent experiences, and financial vitality.

Moving forward, we are extremely excited to begin stakeholder brainstorming sessions to transition our six month nurse residency program to a full 12 months, with a major focus on wellbeing and resiliency training.

March 2021

C2wEEsxg_jpeg.jpgJacqueline M. Puppe MSN, RN-BC
Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN 

I am originally from Grand Forks, North Dakota and I attended University of Mary in Bismarck, North Dakota to complete my undergraduate degree. I was fortunate to engage in a nursing internship between my junior and senior year of nursing school at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. I fell in love with nursing and the Mayo values of “the needs of the patient come first.” My nursing career began in 2002 when I returned to Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN as a clinical RN on an ENT/Plastics/General Surgery unit. After a few years, I followed my dream of becoming a critical care nurse and transferred to the Surgical/Trauma ICU. I had my sight set on CRNA; however, was pleasantly surprised during my first year in critical care when I realized that I loved to teach. With encouragement from my nurse manager, I started teaching clinicals for Luther College and serving in the preceptor role where I found my passion for working with students. While working in the ICU, I attended graduate school and earned my Master’s Degree in Nursing at University of Phoenix. After graduation, I was privileged to work as a Master’s prepared nurse at the bedside in the ICU while teaching didactic and clinicals part-time for five years. Once I became a mom, I pursued a career that would blend my passions. I transitioned into a leadership role as a Nursing Education Specialist supporting a Thoracic and General Surgery Progressive Care Unit and Surgical Admissions/Outpatient areas. Almost three years ago, I transitioned to my current role in support of our Nurse Residency Program. I provide the accreditation oversight and lead our Critical Care Nurse Residency. I have a passion for active learning environments and inspiring individualization of learning needs. I love my job in helping new nurses transition into the profession!

I am a mom of two amazing daughters who teach me so much, especially over this last year! My daughter Ashlynn is in 6th grade and loves to be active with theatre, dance, and piano. My daughter Riley is in 4th grade and loves to be creative with Barbie’s and art and also takes piano lessons (she likes the recitals but not the practice). In our spare time, we spend time baking, biking, playing games, and snuggling while watching movies. We are so blessed to spend time with our extended family as most of my family moved to Rochester….or as my dad says, “moving south.” I am our family’s photographer and enjoy scrapbooking. I am a big advocate for role modeling self-care. I started yoga and prayer/meditation time, which I quickly realized with COVID, brings so much joy to my life. I also enjoy having virtual connections with my “go-to-committee” in life. Prior to COVID, I loved to travel and am looking forward to that safely resuming in the near future.

Short answers to the following questions:

What are you doing regarding COVID in your program?

When COVID first hit, we quickly adapted our transition to practice programs while balancing safety. We provided departmental and specialty orientation while maintaining social distance. In addition, we provided resources online and just-in-time/roving education. In the fall, we launched the rest of our transition to practice programs virtually. We have had to pivot quickly during times of COVID surges, where we have continued asynchronous content but paused synchronous seminars and limited discussion boards to allow for patient care needs. The one thing that truly has been amazing throughout this pandemic is that even though the support of the nurse resident has looked different, they have felt supported. This was provided not only through education, preceptors, and unit leadership support but from all colleagues “checking in” to make sure the nurse residents are okay and asking how they are doing. This has been incredible to witness.

What did getting the PTAP accreditation mean to you?
My experience is a bit different than most. My first week in my current role of supporting nurse residency was the accreditation call sharing the great news! It was such a wonderful experience to witness the excitement in the room. It was palpable that this was something big and it moved me to tears. It brought a lot of honor to know that I would be helping with such a meaningful cause of supporting new graduates and the value it held at my organization. 

What do you hope to do in the future to enhance your program?

I’m excited for the future opportunity to provide a hybrid nurse residency program. Our team has found that providing our virtual nurse residency has given a different feel—more radio host feel. We like how we have structured content for our limited seminar time. This is now prime real estate! This has allowed us to decrease the lecture feel, enhance discussions with using feedback features, and to discuss overcoming the challenges/barriers more. Our team is looking forward to “grow and learn” how we can tweak our virtual curriculum to best meet our learners’ needs as well as the program outcomes we desire as we journey with our first cohorts.

 

April 2021

C2wEEsxg_jpeg.jpgKate Spencer MSN RN
Pentec Health, Inc. 

Kate Spencer, having served almost 40 years in the profession of Nursing is dedicated to her current role at Pentec Health as an Executive Nurse Director, Educational Operations and Program Director of the  Intrathecal Nurse Fellowship. Pentec Health is a national specialty infusion corporation providing care to patients with implanted intrathecal devices for the treatment of chronic pain or spasticity conditions.

Initiated in 2017, she successfully led the transformation of an ANCC accredited Nursing Skills Competency Program into Pentec’s Intrathecal Nurse Fellowship in 2019, earning the honor of the award with Distinction.  Fellowship Accreditation validates that our program is spearheading the standard of care for Intrathecal Therapy on a national level and demonstrates our commitment to quality patient care through continuous professional development of our nursing team.    

Kate has practiced in specialty home infusion therapy for the majority of her nursing career. She passionately believes in the ability to increase positive patient outcomes through the long term nurse-patient relationship afforded by the home care environment. Population health benefits from bringing healthcare to the patient. Kate is looking forward sharing her passion and expertise in her new role supporting the ANCC as the Non-Acute Commissioner for Practice Transition Program Accreditation team.

Kate enjoys living at the coast in Wilmington, North Carolina with her husband and brand new Portuguese Water Dog, Tallulah, spending all their free time outdoors and at the beach.

What are you doing regarding COVID in your program?

As an entirely remote nursing department already, we were unusually poised to respond to the virtual environment. Our staff was well accustomed to meeting via zoom before the pandemic. So initially, one of our challenges was navigating the clogging of resources by all of the “newbie virtuals”. J.

As a result of the pandemic, the fellowship team has adjusted the format of didactic instruction from an in person clinical classroom setting at our corporate office, to a full virtual format for several cohorts since last March. Our goal is to return to the original teaching platforms by this summer once the office reopens and the safety of our fellows can be guaranteed.  

 What did getting the PTAP accreditation mean to you?

Accreditation validated our pursuit of excellence in professional development and positive patient outcomes. The Fellowship advisory group tirelessly led process improvements to meet each criterion and close practice gaps. The win of accreditation was owned by the entire nursing department and created sense of collective pride in our achievement.

What do you hope to do in the future to enhance your program?

Our Fellowship team continuously monitors for enhancement opportunities with each new cohort. Currently our mentorship program is in revision with enhancements designed for education in complex scenario management, Covey training, and an introduction to shared governance. The integrative care team is also rewriting and should begin filming new modules for asynchronous learning modules for use beginning in April. And finally, we have recently secured 24contact hours for the competency training modules that are the basis of our nursing skills competency program. 2021 will prove to be a busy year!