URI College of Nursing Highlights

Dear Friend and Colleague,

Before we begin a new academic year, the faculty and I would like to share highlights of the activity at the College of Nursing for 2013-14. We are experiencing high interest in all of our nursing programs – BS, RN-BS, MS, DNP and PhD. The students are enthusiastic about embarking on their professional careers as new RNs or advancing their professional practice by learning new knowledge and skills. The students’ enthusiasm fuels us in our work to educate the next generation of professional nurses, advanced practice clinicians, educators, and scientists.

We thank you for your continued support of the College!

Here is a summary of URI College of Nursing Highlights for 2013-2014


  • Streamlined admission and reduced credits requirements for the PhD program
  • Streamlined transition for ADN nurses to directly enter URI for the BS nursing degree
  • Nurse Practitioner students are working with vulnerable populations across health care settings in RI – stronger focus on mentoring between faculty and students
  • Integrating genetics and genomics into the undergraduate curriculum
  • Many student opportunities for Interprofessional Education throughout the program – freshman nursing and pharmacy students worked on case studies in the Pharmacy simulation lab; student training with the RI Geriatric Education Center in geriatric assessment; Juniors in medical-surgical nursing worked with Pharmacy and Physical Therapy students in a simulation session and with nutrition students in another; senior students participate in a day-long IPE day at Brown Medical School with students from medicine, pharmacy, physical therapy and social work.
  • The College is the home of the Weyker Endowment which was established to improve the care of the dying and bereaved through education, service and research. Carolyn Hames has led this effort. In 2012-13 there were approximately 140 students/semester enrolled in a thanatology course. Over the past 10 years, 73 students have earned a Minor in Thanatology.
  • Using ExamSoft, an exam management and analytics product, to conduct course testing across the undergraduate nursing curriculum
  • Regular use and more hours in our Skills and High fidelity simulation labs
  • Use of Camtasia to post class presentations with real-time audio on the online learning environment, Sakai. Students have access 24/7
  • Working to expand DEU clinical experiences for junior medical-surgical students
  • A new partnership with Clinica Esperanza in Providence for education, community service, and research.
  • Two PhD nursing students have been named Jonas Scholars. Brandi Cotton and Katherine Simmonds will join a selected national cohort of students from all 50 states. Our first Jonas Scholar, Lisa DiMaria, is completing her dissertation. The Jonas Scholars Program aims to increase the number of PhD prepared nursing faculty. http://www.jonascenter.org/program-areas/scholars
  • A PhD nursing student have been named Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Future of Nursing Scholars program. The program is designed to support our best and brightest nurses to pursue their PhD to advance nursing science. The RI Foundation has committed funding over a 3 year period. Our RWJF Scholar is Pamela McCue who attended an RWJF Scholars ‘boot camp’ in New Jersey.
  • Two International J-term programs to the Dominican Republic for undergraduate and RN-BS students
  • Summer internships through the Southern RI Area Health Education Center (AHEC) to educate nursing students in underserved communities and improve the diversity of the healthcare workforce. Each student completes a project which is presented in the Fall RI AHEC day at Brown Medical School



  • Rebecca Carley is working with the RI Free Clinic to improve diabetes mellitus type 2 standards of care, along with assisting them incorporate structure for ongoing quality improvement
  • Katheleen Hawes completed the NIH, National Institute of Nursing Summer Genetics Institute in Bethesda, MD. She is now collecting genetic data in a study of nurses and stress.
  • Debra Erickson Owens
  • Established a new international research partnership with the University of Skovde in Sweden on older adults with musculoskeletal pain living at home. Faculty are Donna Schwartz-Barcott and Alicia Curtin
  • Recent PhD graduate, Sylvia Clossen Ross, received an award for her dissertation work at the spring meeting of the Eastern Nursing Research Society in Philadelphia, PA
  • Pat Burbank and Joan Dugas, both experts in gerontology, are conducting research on attitudes of nursing students toward older adults to address future needs of healthcare.



  • Continued leadership and participation in the goals of the RI Action Coalition to advance the recommendations of the IOM Future of Nursing Report. As a founding co-lead for RI, URI Faculty are involved in every workgroup to advance nursing education, leadership, faculty, and practice.
  • The College of Nursing is the home of the Southern RI AHEC, funded by the Health Resources & Services Administration. RI’s AHEC is located at the Alpert Medical School at Brown.
  • SIP – this State Implementation Award [SIP] supported by multiple RI partners and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation in the first RI Nurse Residency Program. 17 RNs completed the first Nurse residency that crosses the continuum of care. Nineteen unemployed RNs began this residency in October, 2013 & 17 program completed in a ceremony at the State House on May 7, 2014, Nurses Day. Sixteen have secured jobs in nursing. Our partner, Stepping Up, is applying for a new round of funding from the Governor’s Workforce Board.
  • New delivery care model at Clinica Esperanza which involves shared health care appointments for patients with diabetes, obesity, and hypertension
  • Exploring a new model of care delivery for maternity patients
  • Several faculty specialize in working with vulnerable populations, uninsured/underinsured, pregnant teenagers, and women prisoners, LGBT older adults (Denise Coppa, Pat Stout, Becky Carley, Alicia Curtin, Ginette Ferszt, Diane Martins, Pat Burbank)
  • Several faculty are active members of the Rhode Island Geriatric Center
  • URI CON is co-sponsoring the Lifespan Nursing Research Conference along with RIC, Delta Upsilon Chapter, the Veterans Administration Hospital of Providence, and Salve Regina University on Nov 6, 2014 at Newport Hospital Atrium entitled, “Nurses as 1st Responders: What does the evidence tell us?”
  • Marlene Dufault continues to lead “Research Roundtable”, most recently on “Translating Genomics into Nurses Day to Day Caregiving”. She was promoted to Full Professor III this year.



  • The RI legislature approved the construction of a Nursing Education Center to be located in Providence at the former South Street Power Station on Eddy Street. The center will provide almost 300,000 sf for nursing education to include high fidelity simulation labs, clinical skills labs, standard patient rooms, community health lab, seminar rooms, ‘scale-up’ classrooms, student study areas, faculty and staff offices. The center will be shared with Rhode Island College, School of Nursing. The project design is progressing with faculty participation.
  • Saying good-bye to: Lynne Dunphy, Mary Leveillee, Lillian Sonnenschein, Patty McCullough, and Kerri Ellis.
  • We welcome new faculty in September: Marcella Thompson, Assistant Professor; Diane Thulier, Assistant Professor; Christine McGrane, Clinical Assistant Professor; Michelle Palmer, Clinical Assistant Professor
  • Two faculty, Ginette Ferszt and Rebecca Carley, are the coordinators of the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program



Asselin, M.E. & Schwartz-Barcott, D. (2013). Exploring reflection as a process embedded in experienced nurses’ practice: a qualitative study. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 69(4):905-914.

Bennett, J., Greene, G. & Schwartz-Barcott, D. (2013). Perceptions of emotional eating behavior: a qualitative study of college students. Appetite, 60:187-192.

Carr, S. (2013).Assessment Of Baccalaureate Nursing Student’s Interprofessional Collaborative  Simulation Experiences. Poster Presentation at Eastern Nursing Research Society

Chopy, K., Winkler, M., Schwartz-Barcott, D., Melanson, K. & Greene, G. (2014). A qualitative study of the perceivedvalue of membership in the Oley Foundation by home parenteral and enteral nutrition consumers. J Parenter EnteralNutr [Epub ahead of print].

Curtin, A., Martins, D.C, Schwartz-Barcott, D., Yekta, S., Tovar, A., DiMaria, L., and DeGroot, A. (2013). Development of a Community-Academic Partnership in Patient Centered Outcomes.  141st American Public Health Association Annual Meeting, Boston, MA, November 2-6th, 2013.

Curtin A. J., Martins, D. C., Schwartz-Barcott, D., DiMaria, L. & Ogando, B. M .S. (2013). Development and evaluation of an international service learning program for nursing students. Public Health Nursing, 30(6):548-556.

Curtin A.J., Martins, D.C., Schwartz-Barcott, D. (2014). A mixed methods evaluation of an international service learning. Public Health Nursing, [Epub ahead of print].

Dufault, M.(2014). VA hospital entitled “Translating Research to Generate and Sustain Evidence-based Practice” on May 6th.

Erickson-Owens, D. (March 11, 2013). Placental Transfusion. An Update on What We Know About the Timing of Cord Clamping at Birth at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Kaiserslautern, Germany.

Erickson-Owens, D., Mercer, J. & Deoni, S. (April 10, 2013). Effects of Delayed Cord Clamping at Birth on Iron Stores and Myelination at 4 Months of Age. Poster presentation at the URI Research Innovation Showcase in Kingston, RI.

Erickson-Owens, D. (October 31, 2013). An Update: What We Know About the Timing of Cord Clamping  (Placental Transfusion) at Birth. Presented at Pediatric Grand Rounds at the University of New Mexico Hospital on October 31, 2013 in Albuquerque, NM.

Erickson-Owens, D. (November 2, 2013). Hey, Have You Got a Few Minutes? The Difference 5 Minutes Can Make. Presented on November 2, 2013 at the University of New Mexico Midwifery Education Program 20th Anniversary Symposium in Albuquerque, NM.

Erickson-Owens, D. (Jan 3, 2014). Placental Transfusion. The Practice of Delayed Umbilical Cord Clamping and Cord Milking. A presentation at the Neonatal Nurses and Midwifery Workshop, NICE Foundation Hospital in Hyderabad, India.

Ferszt, G.G., Hickey, J., Seleyman, K. (2013). Advocating for pregnant women in prison: the role of the correctional nurse.   Journal of Forensic Nursing, 9(2), 105-110.

Ferszt, G. and Hickey, J. (2013). Nurse researchers in corrections: A qualitative study. Journal of Forensic Nursing, 9(4), 200-6. Gillsjo, C., Schwartz-Barcott, D., & Bergh, I. (2013). Learning to endure long-term musculoskeletal pain in daily life at home: a qualitative interview study of the older adult’s experience. Journal Gerontology Geriatriatic Research, 2(4). http://dx.doi.org/10.4172/2167-7182.1000136

Kim, S. K., Schwartz-Barcott, D., & Holter, I. M. (2013). Cross-cultural Use and Validity of Pain Scales and Questionnaires—Norwegian Case Study. Pp. 105-119 in Incayawar, M. & Todd, K.H. (Ed.) Culture, Brain, and Analgesia: Understanding and Managing Pain in Diverse Populations. Oxford University Press: England.

Lester, B.M., Hawes, K., Abar, B., Sullivan, M.C., Miller, R.J., Bigsby, R., Laptook, A., Salisbury, A., Taub, M.,Lagasse, L., & Padbury, J. (in press). Single family room improves neurobehavior and medical outcome in preterm infants. Pediatrics.

Martins, D.C. (2013) Assessment of food intake and disease risk among people experiencing  homelessness in Rhode Island. 141st American Public Health Association Annual Meeting, Boston,  MA, November 2-6th, 2013 Martins, D. C. (In Press) Thinking upstream: Nursing theories and population-focused nursing practice. In M. Nies & M. McEwen, Editors, Community/Public Health Nursing: Promoting the Health of Populations, 6th Ed. Elsevier: St Louis, MI  Martins, D. C. and Burbank, P. (In Press) Community health planning,      implementation, and evaluation. In M. Nies & M. McEwen, Editors, Community/Public Health Nursing: Promoting the Health of Populations. 6th Ed. Elsevier: St Louis, MI

Martins, D.C. (June, 2013) Care Transitions in the Home Setting. R.I. Geriatric Education Center Workshop on Patient Care Transtions. Warwick, RI.

Martins, D.C., Curtin, A., and Schwartz-Barcott, D. (2013) Development and Evaluation of an International Service learning Experience for Public Health Nursing Students. Roundtable Discussion at the 141st American Public Health Association Annual Meeting, Boston, MA, November 2-6th, 2013.

Martins, D. C., Curtin, A., Schwartz-Barcott, D. (2013). Utilizing quantitative and qualitative approaches to evaluate an international service learning program. Association of Community Health Nursing Educators/American Public Health Nursing Joint Meeting, Evidence-based Population Nursing, June 6-8, Carey, North Carolina.

Mercer, J & Erickson-Owens, D. (November 8, 2013). Should Infants of Diabetic Mothers Have Delayed CordClamping?Presented at Women & Infants Hospital Pediatric Research Colloquium on November 8, 2013 in Providence , RI.

Mercer, J. & Erickson-Owens, D. (October 17, 2013). Umbilical Cord Clamping in Term and Preterm Infants: An Update. Presented at OB Grand Rounds at Massachusetts General Hospital on October 17, 2013 in Boston, MA.

Mercer, J and Erickson-Owens, D. (2014). Is it time to rethink cord management when resuscitation is needed? Midwifery & Women’s Health: In press (Nov/Dec 2014)

Sullivan, M. C., Winchester, S. B., Miller, R. J., Barcelos, M., Oliveira, E., & Msall, M. E.(2013, May). Medical,neurological, and psychological health status at age 23 years among preterm Infants with diverse neonatal morbidities. Poster session presented at the Pediatric Academic Societies, Washington, DC.

Roberts, M. R., Sullivan, M. C., Winchester, S. B., & Miller, R. J. (2014, April). Examiningsolutions to missing data in longitudinal research.Paper presented to the Eastern Nursing Research Society, Philadelphia, PA.

Ziegler, J. Z., Mitchell, P. A., Sullivan, M. C., Winchester, S. B., Klevak, A., & Miller, R. J. (2014, May). Exercise responses and pulmonary function testing in preterm infants at age 23. Abstract submitted the Pediatric Academic Societies, Vancouver, BC, Canada.

Winchester, S.B., Sullivan, M.C., & Msall, M.E. (in press). Executive function in adult survivors of prematurity. In Executive functioning: Role in early learning processes, impairments in neurological disorders and impact of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). Hauppauge, NY: Nova Science Publishers.