Nevada System of Higher Education
Health Sciences System Newsletter 
July 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 graduate nurses at all education levels, including first DNP graduates

The Orvis School of Nursing recently held its Spring 2012 Convocation Ceremony where 47 BSN, 13RN-to-BSN, 20 MSN and 9 DNP graduates were honored.  Graduates from the Master of Science in Nursing program included 3 Clinical Nurse Leaders, 10 Family Nurse Practitioners and 6 Nurse Educators. 


The first graduating class of UNR's Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) students represented advanced practice nurses, including a nurse midwife, nurse anesthetist, nurse practitioners and nurse executives.  The capstone DNP projects and the Residency that the UNR DNP students completes as part of the program resulted in major changes for the better a variety of healthcare settings, such as improved inter-professional communication among health care providers in a palliative care center, a training program on lateral violence in nursing, evaluation of convenient care clinics, an outcome evaluation of the AIM to Win Program for the overweight and obese, and a program evaluation of a radiology hotline designed to communicate early neoplasm finding directly to the patient.  The DNP program is offered online and is a collaborative program with UNLV.


To perform like an Olympian, you have to think like one. UNLV kinesiology professor Gabriele Wulf explains how to change your thoughts to boost your results

What if you could perfect a butterfly stroke that would rival Michael Phelps' or hurl a hammer farther than UNLV student Amanda Bingson will in the Olympics this month?


It might just take a simple mental shift.


OK, so changing your concentration might not help you sprint past Khadevis Robinson (the Rebels assistant track coach will also compete in London), but it will improve your balance, accuracy and consistency, said kinesiology professor Gabriele Wulf.


"Avoid thinking about anything on your body," Wulf said. "Having an external focus of attention makes performance more automatic and speeds up the learning process, thereby enabling performers to achieve a higher skill level sooner."
An internal focus on body movements functions as "self-invoking triggers," Wulf said. When a person focuses on their own feet or arms, this implicitly triggers self-consciousness and self-evaluation, which for many athletes could have a negative influence on performance. 
School of Medicine to hold annual White Coat Ceremony

The School of Medicine will hold its annual White Coat Ceremony on Friday, Aug. 10 at 5 p.m. at the Joe Crowley Student Union on the University of Nevada, Reno campus. The sixty-eight new incoming members of the medical school's Class of 2016 will participate in the cloaking ceremony which symbolically welcomes them into the health care profession and helps establish a psychological contract for the practice of medicine.  The ceremony concludes the students' orientation week and is part of the School of Medicine's Family Day celebration.
Medical Spanish immersion course launched by Nevada State College for nursing students and graduates


As the Hispanic population in Southern Nevada continues to grow, the need for bilingual medical professionals is also increasing. To answer this need, the Nevada State College (NSC) School of Nursing has begun offering a four-week immersive medical Spanish course, launching this summer. NSC has a cooperative agreement with the Universidad Autónoma de Guadalajara (UAG) in Guadalajara, México for the course.


Licensed Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) graduates as well as current nursing students nearing the completion of their degrees are eligible to apply.


"There is an ongoing need for local nurses to have an understanding of both the culture and language of our Hispanic community in order to effectively communicate with patients and provide proper treatment," said Sherri Coffman, interim dean of the school of nursing. "The medical Spanish immersion program has been developed for this purpose. In turn, it will also increase the marketability of NSC's BSN graduates."


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Health Sciences Spotlight:  

UNLV Nursing Students Volunteer Thousands of Hours
to Help Nevadans Lead Healthier Lives

Students and faculty from the School of Nursing at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas are committed to community outreach that teaches Nevadans how to lead healthier lives.

In the last few years, UNLV has graduated more than 600 nurses to work in acute care hospitals and community agencies throughout Nevada.

Nursing students volunteer thousands of hours each year to provide low-cost services to the underprivileged and to educate older adults about tactics for preventing diabetes and maintaining healthy lifestyles.

Here's a look at some of the community outreach projects UNLV students participated in this year:


  • Emergency preparedness for the elderly. The elderly, especially those who are homebound, are at risk during natural disasters or other emergencies. They can easily be cut off from communication with others, face physical injuries, and have limited access to food, medications and transportation. UNLV student nurses helped local elderly Meals on Wheels clients by providing access to supplies and contact information to minimize the effect that a disaster would have on their health.  Students devised a brochure with essential questions and answers for this population in an easy-to-read format. They included a checklist of necessities clients should begin to stockpile including food, medications and other vital items. The brochure will continue to be distributed as a component of the shelf-stable emergency meals delivered to Meals on Wheels clients every six months.   
  • STD prevention. The highest prevalence of sexually transmitted disease is within the African American population, specifically ages 15-29. UNLV students created poster boards and helped teach about STD prevention and symptoms to more than 70 people this academic year. At an outreach event the students handed out condoms and pamphlets about the diseases.    
  • Homeless outreach. A large number of students at Thomas Elementary School in Las Vegas are homeless. UNLV Nursing students complied a list of community resource information into an easily understood pamphlet, which was then distributed to families. The pamphlet is now being distributed to homeless families throughout the Las Vegas region.
  • Curbing childhood obesity. UNLV nursing students created lesson plans that helped teach nutrition and physical fitness to students at the John D. "Jacking" Gaughn Boys and Girls Club. They focused on healthy food options, concepts of the food pyramid, proper portion sizes, adequate water consumption, regular exercise and ways that the children could influence the foods their parents bought.
    Nursing students also developed a fitness test in which they tested children in push-ups, sit-ups and a shuttle run. The test lasted five weeks, so the children could retest to discover if they had improved.
    Students ages 11 or older were also provided a tour of the UNLV campus. UNLV students discussed with the children reasons why a higher education is important, how they can get accepted to a higher education institution and ways to pay for college.


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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