July Highlights

UMSN researchers show success in virtual learning, new findings on teen medical marijuana, plus expertise nationally for patient safeguards in oncology treatment.

New Findings

New research shows virtual environments can provide effective learning and be a useful alternative to traditional training settings. The researchers wanted to examine theVirtual learning in Second Life feasibility of adapting a traditional face-to-face facilitator training program for ¡Cuídate!, a sexual risk reduction evidence-based intervention for Latino youth. They found participants in a multi-user virtual environment were able to acquire the knowledge and skills needed to deliver the curriculum. Lead author Michelle Aebersold, PhD, RN, a University of Michigan School of Nursing (UMSN) clinical assistant professor and director of UMSN’s Clinical Learning Center says, “This work shows that we can train people in virtual environments who are not ‘gamers,’ and they can learn very well.  We can reach broad groups of people would not have access to face-to-face training.  These facilitators were from small community-based organizations and they were able to use their new training with adolescents who otherwise would not have received the benefits of the program.”  “Using a Virtual Environment to Deliver Evidence-Based Interventions: The Facilitator's Experience” is published in JMIR Serious Games.
Teens who use medical marijuana are more likely to say they’re addicted to marijuana compared to teens who get the drug illegally, according to new findings from Carol Boyd, PhD, RN, FAAN, UMSN’s Deborah J. Oakley Professor. Dr. Boyd says she doesn’t believe medical marijuana use is creating addictions, but instead, teens who feel dependent may seek marijuana cards to ensure a reliable source. Dr. Boyd says the findings show that there are shortcomings in medical marijuana policy. The study, "Adolescents' use of Medical Marijuana: A Secondary Analysis of Monitoring the Future Data," is scheduled for publication in the August issue of the Journal of Adolescent Health.

In the News

A Detroit-area oncologist’s conviction for giving hundreds of patients unnecessary cancer treatments made national news. Such crimes could happen again, explainedDr. Christopher Friese on WXYZ-TV University of Michigan School of Nursing (UMSN) Assistant Professor Christopher Friese, PhD, RN, AOCN, FAAN.  “The health care delivery system encourages Dr. Fata and unscrupulous doctors like him to take advantage of perversely structured financial incentives, which reimburse clinics each time a drug is injected,” wrote Dr. Friese in a Detroit Free Press editorial. He noted that most people are shocked to learn nearly 80% of chemotherapy treatments occur in largely unregulated clinics. Dr. Friese shared his support for more regulations to protect patients on WXYZ-TV, several Michigan radio stations and local newspapers.  He is also an advocate for improved protection for health care workers who handle potentially hazardous materials, such as chemotherapy drugs.
“Family members and nonprofessional caregivers are already struggling to manage current in-home equipment and decisions on when to call for help,” writes Dean Kathleen Potempa in a Wall Street Journal Health Experts post. “We need better support both for skilled home care and for family members who can provide auxiliary assistance with close oversight by clinicians.” Her previous WSJ posts  shared  insights on care for the dying, finding the right primary care doctor, and a variety of pressing topics.

Hillman Scholar Publication

Kristen Choi, a doctoral student in UMSN’s Hillman Scholars Program in Nursing Innovation, was recently published in the Journal of Forensic Nursing. “Risk Factors for Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking (DMST) in the United States: A Literature Review” addresses the limited literature regarding prevention and victim identification efforts. Choi concludes that nurses and other health care professionals can make a positive impact through improving early identification of victims and by conducting high-quality research to inform practice.

American College of Nurse-Midwives (ACNM) Annual Meeting

UMSN was well represented at the ACNM 60th Annual Meeting.  UMSN Associate Professor Lisa Kane Low, PhD, CNM, FACNM, FAAN, was inducted as President-elect of the ACNM. She gave presentations on national guidelines she helped develop to improve quality and safety clinical care in maternity units, and on her pelvic floor research. Clinical Associate Professor Ruth Zielinski gave a presentation on finding that first job as a new midwife and was named as the Chair of the Clinical Standards and Documents national committee which develops midwifery practice guidelines. UMSN Associate Dean for Global Affairs Jody Lori, PhD, CNM, FACNM, FAAN, led several sessions focused on improving maternity care globally and featured some of her own research initiatives in Ghana and Liberia.  UMSN midwifery student Mollie Gilbert Brody received an ACNM Foundation Memorial Scholarship and University of Michigan Health System (UMHS) nurse midwife Mary McGuinness was recognized with an Outstanding Preceptor award. 
ACNM’s Lobby Day was held in conjunction with the conference. More than 600 midwives, including UMSN faculty members and students, met with senators andMidwifery students in Washington, D.C. for ACNM's Lobby Day representatives to express support for legislation aimed at improving access to care, especially in areas of the country experiencing shortages of maternity care providers.

You’re Invited

UMSN’s new building is near completion and the sense of excitement surrounding the building just keeps growing.  On September 18, we will welcome alumni, community partners, donors, and supporters for our Grand Opening events.

New Certificate

UMSN has partnered with the National Nursing Practice Network (NNPN) to offer a new Staff Nurse Evidence-Based Practice (EBP) Certificate. Led by UMSN’s Dr. Marita Titler, a nationally recognized expert on EBP and Translational Science, the program is designed to prepare staff nurses to become leaders who can implement and sustain EBP improvements at point of care delivery. The program includes online learning and hands-on work with a mentor. Registration is now open for the course that begins November 3, 2015.

Alumni Spotlight

Recent PhD graduate, Rhonda Schoville, PhD, RN, MSBA, was featured as the Midwest Nursing Research Society’s Member in the Spotlight. Dr. Schoville, who also earned her BSN at UMSN, is currently the manager of Nursing Information Services at UMHS. Her research focuses on quality and patient safety in the implementation of technology in nursing practice environments.


Clinical Assistant Professor Michelle Aebersold, PhD, RN, has been selected as a 2015 American Academy of Nursing fellow. She joins more than 30 UMSN faculty members to receive this prestigious honor. Fellows are selected based on a significant contribution to nursing and health care, sponsorship by two current fellows, and a review by a panel of fellows. UMSN alumni Suzanne Miyamoto, Jeff Adams, Tondi Harrison and Laureen Smith will also be adding FAAN to their credentials. The induction ceremony will take place during the Academy’s annual policy conference, in October in Washington, D.C. 
Dr. Jessie Casida and Pawilai PitakwongDNP student Pawilai Pitakwong received the Best Moderated Poster Research Presentation award at the Association of Heart Failure Nurses’ annual meeting. Pitakwong’s presentation was entitled "Hospital Discharge Process and Home-Care Issues among Left Ventricular Assist Device (LVAD) Patients/Caregivers." Pitakwong is pictured with co-author, UMSN Assistant Professor Jessie Casida, PhD, RN, APN-C, CCRN-CSC. Additional co-authors Joy Chern and Austen Carie are recent 2015 graduates of UMSN’s BSN program.