Nevada System of Higher Education
Health Sciences System Newsletter 
June 2012
The Health Sciences System (HSS) was established by the Nevada System of Higher Education (NSHE) Board of Regents in 2006. Its purpose is to address Nevada's community health issues through a system-wide effort to integrate and expand the education of health professionals and to foster collaborative research in health and health care.  Through collaboration among the NSHE institutions and a broad range of external partners, the HSS intends to be a catalyst for improvement in the health and wellness of Nevada.  Visit us at:
UNR Orvis School of Nursing Faculty Receives Teaching Award 
Orvis SON faculty member receives award



Orvis School of Nursing faculty member Susan Ervin, recipient of UNR's top annual teaching award, and University of Nevada, Reno President Marc Johnson.  









Susan Ervin, an assistant professor at the Orvis School of Nursing, was selected as the recipient of the University's top annual teaching award - the F. Donald Tibbitts Distinguished Teacher Award. The selection committee noted that Ervin was impressive in the classroom and used a variety of teaching methodologies, and that it was clear her students were completely engaged.


Ervin's teaching portfolio reflects her dedication to teaching through strong evaluations and support from her students. She also received the 2011 Division of Health Sciences Teaching Award and was voted Most Inspirational Faculty by the nursing students.


NSC faculty lectures at eye surgical training program in Vietnam

This spring, Hue, Vietnam welcomed nearly 30 faculty members from around the world to attend the 4th biennial Imperial City Eye Meeting (ICEM). Volunteers, including Hon-Vu Q. Duong, M.D. and senior lecturer of biology at Nevada State College, presented lectures and lab sessions aimed to teach the latest techniques in ophthalmology to over 350 eye specialists at the Hue Central Hospital.


"Eye specialists in areas of the world such as Vietnam often do not have direct access to major research institutes," said Duong. "Therefore, current research can take a couple of years or more to reach these medical professionals. ICEM is a venue to share the most up-to-date research and technology."


ICEM is the largest ophthalmology training program in Southeast Asia covering a range of topics including cataracts, corneal and retinal disease, oculoplastic reconstructive surgery, and glaucoma diagnosis and treatment. 



Western Nevada College graduates 41 nurses 

Western Nevada College graduated 41 associate degree-nursing students during the spring commencement ceremonies in Carson City and Fallon. The graduates also enjoyed a traditional nurse pinning ceremony at the Carson Nugget in Carson City. 
The 2012 class members hail from 16 communities in Nevada and California, including:  Carson City, Dayton, Fallon, Fernley, Gardnerville, Genoa, Hawthorne, Minden, Moundhouse, Reno, South Lake Tahoe, Sparks, Virginia City, and Yerington.  
Several graduates were recognized with achievement awards including: Amanda Hall - Academic Award and Nevada Student Nurse of Achievement Award; Tamiya Ferguson - WNC Spirit of Nursing Award; and Kelli McDonnell and Leanna Ogle - Associated Students of Western Nevada Outstanding Student of the Year-Nursing Award. 

Most of the WNC graduates will enter the workforce in hospitals and health care facilities in the region.


School of Medicine graduates first medical oncology fellows

The University of Nevada School of Medicine recently graduated its inaugural class of medical oncology fellows through its collaborative partnership with the U.C. San Diego Health System Nevada Cancer Institute (NVCI).


"We graduated four fellows from the two-year program and they are now eligible to sit for the American Board of Internal Medicine's medicinal oncology certifying exam," said Miriam Bar-on, M.D., associate dean for graduate medical education at the School of Medicine.


Newly graduated fellows are: Randy Calegari, M.D., who will remain on staff with the NVCI; Georgia Gonsalves-Shapiro, M.D., who accepted a medical oncology position with a practice near Orlando, Florida; Deepa Mocherla, M.D., who is exploring employment options in the Las Vegas area; and Behrooz K. Shamloo, M.D., who is reviewing multiple offers.


Two UNLV School of Nursing Students Named Jonas Nurse Leaders Scholars

Two UNLV School of Nursing students were named Jonas Nurse Leaders Scholars and will receive $20,000 for their nursing studies over the next two years.


The Jonas Nurse Leaders Scholar Program was created in 2008 to support educational development of new nursing faculty and simulate models for joint faculty appointments between schools of nursing and clinical affiliates.


The Jonas Nurse Leaders Scholar Program supports more than 250 scholars, spreading the program's reach across all 50 states. The program hopes to increase the amount of nurses with doctorates so that schools will have sufficient and qualified teachers, who will in turn help students address the needs of future patients.


Brain Selig is a student in the doctor of nursing practice program at UNLV who will receive $10,000 over the next two years from the Jonas award. 

Selig is currently the director of adult and pediatric emergency services at the University Medical Center of Southern Nevada. He spent his career focusing on all aspects of emergency care, working as a staff nurse, an air medical flight nurse, and an administrator. His research focus includes nursing accreditation programs and medical care at mass gathering events, healthcare policy, nursing advocacy, and government affairs.


Susan Adameck is a student in the doctorate of nursing program at UNLV who will also receive $10,000 over the next two years from the Jonas award. She is currently the director of education for St. Rose Dominican Hospitals in Henderson and Las Vegas. She is president of the Nevada Organization of Nurse Leaders, board member for the Nevada chapter of the American College of Healthcare Executives, and is a member of the education advisory committee of the Nevada State Board of Nursing. Her research interests include patient safety in the acute care setting, staff development and the transition to practice experience of newly licensed nurses.


Health Sciences Spotlight:   WNC Nursing Graduate Chosen for New Saint Mary's Transition Program
Sarah Thompson WNC student




WNC nursing graduate Sarah Thompsen is participating in a new Registered Nurse Transition to Practice Program at Saint Mary's Regional Medical Center in Reno. 




Making the move from being a student in a college nursing program to becoming a full-time hospital nurse can require plenty of adjustment.   At Saint Mary's Regional Medical Center in Reno, a new program is offering a select group of new nurses the chance to benefit from its Registered Nurse Transition to Practice Program.


Western Nevada College graduate Sarah Thompson is one of them. Thompson began her career at Saint Mary's after being one of only three state residents and 17 overall applicants chosen from a national pool of 150 candidates.


New registered nurses are supported and nurtured through orientation and classroom instruction, along with a three-month, supervised shadowing by an experienced nurse.  Jamie-Sue Coleman, project director for Transition to Practice Program, said Saint Mary's is the first facility in Northern Nevada to offer a residency program like one that is already in place in Southern Nevada.


Thompson specializes in telemetry and monitors heart patients during her evening shifts. The program has helped her comfortably adapt to the surroundings and responsibilities.


"What they have set up is a very supportive (system) where you don't feel you are on your own. You have guidance and teaching," Thompson said. "I'm so excited to be in this position where I have the support system to succeed. It helps you build confidence so you can do the best job possible for your patients."


After a three-month training period on the floor, Thompson, a full-time Saint Mary's employee, is transitioning to an independent position at the medical center.


"The best part is they set you up to succeed," Thompson said. "They give you all the support and tools that you are going to need to succeed. They make you feel very confident to do your job."


To be considered for Saint Mary's Nurse Transition to Practice Program, Thompson fulfilled a GPA requirement, submitted a required application, wrote a letter of interest and went through a formal interview process. She said Saint Mary's is looking for registered nurses who are committed to their profession, flexible, and enthusiastic to learn.


"She's doing very well, and her manager speaks very highly of her," Coleman said.


The WNC nursing program blends a curriculum of bio/social sciences and humanities to prepare students for the national licensure examination. Thompson supplemented her classroom learning experiences with clinical training in Carson City and Reno.


"It's a well-rounded program," said Thompson. "I'm very pleased with the instruction and schooling that I received from WNC. I came out of school prepared."


Now, with on-the-job training program at Saint Mary's, Thompson's career is off and running.



Did you know: 
The Nevada System of Higher Education has 150 distinct Health Sciences programs throughout eight institutions with an estimated total of 18,000 enrolled students.
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