University of South Alabama College of Nursing

College of Nursing Awards and Recognition


Third Annual SENC Summit - October 3, 2014

You are invited to participate in a unique regional conference. This conference offers a forum where professionals will share strategies for safe and effective healthcare, and discuss integrating and aligning expectations amongst academic and practice partners. Nurse leaders from practice and academia will learn how partnerships contribute to performance excellence, customer, employer, and other stakeholder satisfaction.

Please print the attached brochure, register and don't miss out on this unique collaborative opportunity. Feel free to forward this information to your academic/practice partners, and consider submitting an abstract for a poster presentation.


Call for Abstracts

Dr. Alethea Hill and Dr. Bridget Moore have been busy! Recently, they were selected for the ASNA Leadership Academy where the motto is "Every Nurse is a Leader". Both identified a project and submitted a resolution to the ASNA for approval to start a statewide initiative in collaboration with community partners..

Dr. Hill was also selected for the Mathematical Sciences in Obesity training at the University of Alabama in Birmingham, May 12-16th. The training will introduce energy balance models for clinical interventions, statistical methods for obesity research, genomics, and complex systems approaches to obesity etiology and intervention. The training is funded by the National Institutes of Health & Office of Energetics. Dr. Hill was also selected to receive a travel award to defray all cost related to the training.

Dr. James Harris, Community Mental Health Professor of Nursing was inducted in the Alabama Hall of Fame by the Board of Visitors of the Capstone College of Nursing at the University of Alabama October 10, 2013. Individually and collectively the five inductees have greatly influenced the profession of nursing and health care in the state of Alabama and the nation. Honoring the inductees is to honor the most noble of professions---Nursing.  

Carolyn Dolan, RN, JD, MSN, FNP-BC, PNP-BC was elected to the board of directors, the governing body of The American Association of Nurse Attorneys (TAANA) at the annual symposium in Savannah, GA. Dr. Dolan’s presentation was "The Role of the Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) in the Prosecution of Sexual Assault. She is a Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) and is actively assisting Baldwin County in establishing a sexual assault response team (SART).

The board of directors has supervision, control and direction of the affairs of TAANA and determines policies or changes within the limits of its bylaws and has discretion in the disbursement of its funds. Directors serve for three full years.

The American Association of Nurse Attorneys is a professional association incorporated in the District of Columbia made up of nurse attorneys, law students and other professionals who are interested in healthcare law. The association provides resources, education and leadership to its members and the healthcare and legal communities regarding health law and policy. The goals of TAANA include but are not limited to:

1. to promote and enhance TAANA and the profession of the nurse attorney;

2. to provide educational programs, products, and services to members, chapters and the public;

3. to facilitate communication; and

4. to identify and influence health law and policy issues and to serve as a resource for the healthcare and legal communities.

To become a member one must be a nurse attorney, a nurse, or legal or healthcare professional.
For more information about TAANA, go to the website at

Barbara Broome, PhD, RN, FAAN was awarded the Society of Urologic Nurses and Associates (SUNA) President’s Trophy at the annual 2013 conference held in Chicago, Ill. The award is in recognition of outstanding contributions to the specialty of urologic nursing. SUNA is a professional organization committed to excellent in evidenced-based practice, research and education of its members, patients,
families and the community. Dr. Broome has served in several leadership positions in SUNA and is the current research chair. In 2013, she contributed to the SUNA Core Curriculum theoretical framework development and the recent SUNA publication, Urologic Nursing: Scope and Standards of Practice.
Dr. Leigh Minchew, Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner and WHNP Specialty Track Coordinator for MSN and DNP Programs was recently elected as Vice Chair of the Alabama Office of Women’s Health Steering Committee. The Alabama OWH is comprised of representatives from the Alabama State Hospital Association, Alabama State Nurses Association, Alabama Pharmacy Association, Alabama Dietetic Association, Medical Association of the State of Alabama, Business Council of Alabama, and Consumers. Most members are appointed by the governor and serve women throughout Alabama by providing education on health promotion. Dr. Minchew has served on the Steering Committee for the past four years and has served as Program Committee Chair for three annual Women’s Health Update conferences.  
Susan Williams recently received a 2nd place award for a Poster Competition at University of Alabama - Birmingham. The competition was part of her PhD Intensive and Summer Research practicum in collaboration with Dr. Jennifer Langhinrichsen-Rohling in the department of Psychology at UAB.
Dr. Joyce McCullers Varner has been awarded the Professional of the Year Award by the Alabama Gerontological Society. This award is given to an individual employed in the field of aging in recognition of exceptional efforts “above and beyond” the scope of their job description or duties in enhancing the lives of older Alabamians. This is the second time Dr. Varner has held this honor. Dr. Varner also serves as President of District VIII for the Alabama Gerontological Society.  
The Alabama Department of Public Health-Diabetes Program has awarded CON faculty Dr. Anita King the Diabetes and Cardiovascular Prevention and Management Award for teaching current and future health care leaders.  

Stacee Bertolla and Dr. Sheila Whitworth recently presented at the King International Conference in Bennington, Vermont. Their presentation was entitled Healthy Children and Collaborative Education: A Partnership with the Community. The presentation discussed the collaborative partnership with Mobile County Public Schools and USA College of Nursing pediatric nursing students.

This endeavor focuses on providing health screenings and education to students in K-6 grades. Two ongoing research projects related to childhood obesity has evolved as a result of this partnership.

Ms. Bertolla and Dr. Whitworth have been invited to present findings of their research at the next King International Conference in Miami, Fl. in 2015.


Faculty member Anjie Davis was reappointed as Regional Faculty for the American Heart Association (AHA) for term 2012-2015.

An AHA Instructor who, because of exemplary service to the ECC program,is appointed by the Regional ECC Committee to the Regional Faculty. Regional Faculty members are appointed at the sole discretion of the AHA. They serve as a primary resource for quality assurance in the ECC Program.

She also is Regional Faculty for the following disciplines: ACLS, PALS, and BLS.


Faculty member Susan Williams has recently published two new articles, one in collaboration with faculty member Suzanne Bihan. Susan Williams also receive a $2000 scholarship from the Alabama State Nurses Association and a $6700 schalarship form the Alabama Board of Nursing. Both scholarships will help with her DNP tuition at the University of Alabama, Birminham.

Williams, S. G. (June 2012). The Ethics of Internet Research. Online Journal of Nursing Informatics (OJNI), 16 (2), Available at

Bihan, S., & Williams, S. G. (2012). Application of an innovative, autonomous, creative teaching modality through service-learning in a
community-health nursing course. Journal of Nursing Education and Practice, 2013, Vol. 3, No. 5, 166-127.

Dr. Joyce McCullers Varner has been solicited by Professor Brendan McCormack, of the Institute of Nursing Research at the University of Ulster/Royal Hospitals, Belfast, Northern Ireland, and Editor-in-Chief of the International Journal of Older People Nursing to serve as a member of the Editorial Board. The International Journal of Older People Nursing is an international forum for advancing knowledge in gerontological nursing. The Journal publishes scholarly and accessible material that challenges assumptions and provokes new ideas, helping nurses develop and inform their practice and engage in the debates about the health and social care services for older people. This is an international peer reviewed journal and has an extensive readership world-wide.  

Dr. Lynn Chilton, DSN, GNP-BC/FNP-BC has been invited to be the Health Policy Editor for The Journal for Nurse Practitioners. This is a peer reviewed journal with an advanced practice nursing readership of over 50,000 nurses.

Dr. Chilton also is a Reviewer on the Editorial Advisory Board for Geriatric Nursing as well being a Reviewer for the Editorial Advisory Board for Advance for Nurse Practitioners. Both of these journals are peer reviewed and have an extensive readership among Advanced Practice Nurses.


Evidence-Based Practice: An Integrative Approach to Research, Administration, and Practice


Heather R. Hall, PhD, RNC, NNP-BC, Associate Professor, USA College of Nursing Maternal Child NursingDepartment
Linda A. Roussel, DSN, RN, NEA-BC, CNL, Professor, USA College of Nursing Community Mental Health Nursing Department

An excellent reference for interdisciplinary education and clinical agencies, as well as disciplines focused on translating research evidence to quality practices. The authors provide sound information on the research process and critical appraisal, and use a unique integrative collaborative approach to apply these principles. They also develop a strong conceptualization of integration of research and evidence-based practice from a clinical practice and administrative perspective specifically for this book.

Dr. Jennie Gunn has been elected vice president for Sigma Theta Tau - Zeta Gamma chapter for 2012. She also was appointed to represent the College of Nursing on the SACS committee for 2012 and 2013. This year, she published a research report with Dr. Treloar entitled: Caught in the tapestry of tobacco: Why I smoke. The article was published in the Contemporary Nurse Journal. Dr. Gunn and Dr. Nadler were awarded the Dean’s Grant for their research entitled: The Person who is Homeless and the Emergency Room: Finding Help when Needed. Research findings from this study are being presented at two international conferences. The first Conference presentation was at Indiana University at Purdue and was presented by Drs. Gunn and Nadler (2012, June 18-21), The Homeless and the Emergency Room: Finding Help when Needed. The Institute of Hermeneutic Phenomenology, in Indianapolis, Indiana, was an International Conference. Drs. Gunn and Nadler will be presenting research findings on October 17, 2012 at the international conference: The Transcultural Nursing Conference to be held in Orlando, Florida. Dr. Gunn is also a reviewer for the Online Journal of Health Ethics, University of Southern Mississippi, Hattiesburg, MS and the Online Journal of Culture Care, University of Michigan, Flynt, Michigan.  
Joyce Varner Dr. Joyce Varner has been selected for membership in the newly formed Alabama Elder Justice Alliance. This new Alliance of over 35 organizations in Alabama is dedicated to the service and protection of Alabama elders. The mission of this Alliance is to protect the rights of elders, promote and enhance coordination between agencies, strengthen the current systems that are already in place, increase the knowledge and skills of professionals, and develop a statewide advocacy, education and outreach campaign. This Alliance is formed through the State of Alabama Department of Senior Services under the direction of Mr. Neal Morrison, Commissioner and Ms. Robyn James, Director of Elder Rights Division. Dr. Varner has spent her entire career dedicated to the education of those who provide care to elders and is a strong proponent of elder rights.  

Dr. Alethea Hill has been faculty in the College of Nursing approaching 10 years. She recently completed doctoral preparation in May 2011. Since her final defense she has served the College of Nursing and community in a number of outstanding ways. As a junior investigator and nurse researcher, she has been hard at work and engaged in interdisciplinary research, professional development, and scholarly works such as:

• 2011-present National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) Postdoctoral Summer Institute I & II,
• SUNY Downstate Cardiovascular Disease PRIDE (Program to Increase Diversity) Scholar (Brooklyn, NY)
• 2012 NHLBI Junior Investigator Bootcamp (May, 2012)
• 2012-present Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, New Connections Junior Investigator Scholar. (Princeton, New Jersey)
•2012-present Johnson & Johnson Diabetes Institute Scholar (San Jose, CA)

2012 Published Works:

• Adedayo, O.O.M., Smith, D.N., Hill, A.N., Zizi, F., Brown, C., and Girardin, J.L. (Accepted SLBR-D-11-00257R1). Obstructive sleep apnea and dyslipidemia: Evidence and underlying mechanism. Sleep & Breathing.

• Talley, M., Hill, A.N., Steadman, L., & Hess, M.A. (accepted with minor revisions, 2012). Changes in the Treatment of Inpatient Hyperglycemia: What Every Nurse Practitioner Should Know About the 2012 Standards of Care. Journal of the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners

Accepted abstract:

• Associations Between Perceived Discrimination and Allostatic Load among African Americans of the Jackson Heart

• 2012 Science of Eliminating Health Disparities Summit
National Institute of Minority Health Disparities
Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center, National Harbor, Maryland

AHN Faculty member Tom Meyer, has been elected to the Board of Directors for the Association of Camp Nurses (ACN) beginning December 1st. He'll be traveling to Minneapolis for the annual meeting in October.  
Aaron Gilligan, AHN Faculty member, participated in item writing for The National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN) at the Chicago, IL headquarters of Pearson VUE in August. "Participating in item writing for the NCLEX really helps an instructor get a grasp of what student nurses need to know when they sit for the Board examination. I recommend the experience to all nursing faculty."  

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