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MSU College of Nursing eNews

February 2015

Nursing News


Sparrow’s New Board Chair First Nurse to Hold that Post

Barbara Given is the first nurse elected as Chair of the Sparrow Health System and Sparrow Hospital Board for 2015. The 15 members of the board oversee Sparrow Health System, which includes Sparrow Hospital in Lansing. Given’s nursing career includes more than 45 years at MSU’s College of Nursing and research on long-term cancer care, symptom management, family home care, family care giving, and cancer care/intervention. Given served as Interim Director of the MSU/Sparrow Center for Innovation and Research and also received Sparrow Nursing’s Lifetime Achievement Award in 2013.

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Cassandra’s Refusal of Chemo: Nurse Ethicist Ponders Ethics of Forcing Treatment

Douglas Olsen examines the ethics behind the refusal of treatment from a patient. The case of Cassandra, a 17-year-old female in Connecticut being compelled by the court to undergo chemotherapy for Hodgkin’s lymphoma, has aroused interest in the media and among bioethicists, who have offered mixed conclusions. “For me, intuition suggests that the value of preventing a 17-year-old’s death may have priority over the value of honoring her decision. This leads me to the insight that respect for autonomy is not a simple rule and that using decision-making capacity as the sole determinant in case analysis cannot always provide a fully satisfying resolution,” said Olsen.

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MSU Experts Weigh in on Growing Vaccine Debate

As the debate continues to wage on about childhood vaccinations, Michigan State University has experts available to give their perspectives on this growing issue. Rhonda Conner-Warren is a pediatric nurse practitioner and advocate for delivering quality care to improve children’s health.

“I have witnessed the sicknesses, hospitalizations and deaths of children who did not receive immunizations for health issues such as whooping cough, certain types of pneumonia and the flu. The loss of a child from these preventable illnesses is unacceptable,” said Conner-Warren.

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To Prescribe or Not to Prescribe?: Pain Management for Post-Thoracotomy Patients

To prescribe or not to prescribe, that is the question. Patients are often concerned because they do not want to be labeled weak or “drug seeking” so they do not reach out to their healthcare provider to seek more medication to ease their pain. Unfortunately, the deleterious effects of the pain often take a significant toll, ultimately leading to a call to their provider – not by the patient – by the emergency room, who is trying to piece together what to do to alleviate the multiple, significant issues the patient presents.

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Comorbidities Can Affect Severity of Side Effects from Oral Cancer Therapies and Interfere With Patients’ Abilities to Self-Manage

More than 80% of patients with cancer have at least one comorbid condition. Oncology nurses are trained and experts in focusing on patients’ oncology conditions, but because of this statistic, it is crucial that they have an understanding of comorbidities and how they can affect patients’ cancer and its treatment. Oral cancer therapies throw additional concerns into play, such as difficulties with adherence when symptoms are not managed effectively.

In their article in the January 2015 issue of the Oncology Nursing Forum, Barbara Given, Sandra Spoelstra, and others evaluate the prevalence, severity, and attribution of symptoms, as well as the interference with management of comorbidities, in patients who have been prescribed oral anticancer agents.

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Seeking Nominations for Service on Alumni Board

A member of the College of Nursing Alumni Association Board is elected to hold this position based upon demonstrated involvement, support and commitment to Michigan State University, the MSU Alumni Association and the College of Nursing. If you are interested in serving the College complete the online application by Friday, March 20, 2015.

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A Look at the Graduating Class of 1964

In 1964, these ‪Spartan Nurses‬ had just completed their undergraduate nursing degree and followed their own unique path that led to their success in the nursing field. While some went on to earn a master’s degree, others were furthering their career through experience.‬ ‬‬Read more about each of their #SpartanNursing stories.

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The Impact of Scholarship: Enhancing a Patient's Journey to Healing

"The Florence C. Kempf Nursing Endowed Scholarship helped me to decrease my financial burdens, and have allowed me extra time for student organizations and leadership positions, such as Orchesis and the Student Advisory Council… I would like to thank all scholarship donors for making it possible for nursing students to pursue our goals and dreams," Emily Mai, CON BSN '14. After graduating, Mai accepted a position at Northwestern working as a Nurse on the Stem Cell Transplant Unit. She plans to work at Northwestern for a few years, and then return to school to become an Oncology Nurse Practitioner.

Give and shine the light. Help prepare nurse leaders by making a gift to help support the education of future Spartan Nurses.

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The Impact of Scholarship: Creating Opportunities for Future Students

Angelica Lindsay, Traditional BSN student, is an accomplished student involved in the National Society of Collegiate Scholars, a continuous Dean’s List Honor student, and Achieving Culturally Competent Education and Student Success (ACCESS) program student. “The scholarship I was awarded has given me the opportunity to cover(pay for) some school supplies I have needed and has lightened some of the financial burden off of me. Instead of focusing on how I will be able to pay for things, I was able to put that energy towards getting myself prepared for the upcoming semester, allowing me to focus on my studies,” said Lindsay.

Give and shine the light. Help future Spartan Nurses overcome economic and educational barriers. Ignite the possibility of higher education by making a gift online.

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Need Advice from a Career Consultant?

Introducing Ed Tillett, the College’s Career Consultant. He is here to help students with career preparation, resume writing, and related topics. Contact Ed via phone: (517) 432-8352 or email at Edmund.Tillett@hc.msu.edu.



April 18
Global Day of Service


April 25
Reunion Day Celebration

Welcoming back the classes of: 1965, 1975, 1985, 1995, 2005 & all graduates prior to 1965.




Dawn Frambes, PhD student, has passed her comprehensive examinations and is now a candidate for a PhD in the College of Nursing.


Sandra Spoelstra is the recipient of the 2015 ONS Victoria Mock New Investigator Award. This prestigious award recognizes contributions to building a scientific foundation for oncology nursing practice.


The Michigan State University College of Nursing MSN Programs have met ANCC’s eligibility educational requirements. Students who complete these programs have the educational preparation to sit for the ANCC certification examination.







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For a full list of open positions visit our Employment page.



Seeking an experienced, visionary leader for the position of Dean. Nominations and applications are invited. The documents can be sent electronically to MSUNursing@wittkieffer.com. Inquiries may be addressed to Mary Elizabeth Taylor at (212) 686-2676 or Claudia Teschky at (630) 575-6172.

Assistant Professor for Health Programs

Clinical Nurse Specialist

Director of PhD Program

Family Nurse Practitioner


Nurse Practitioner Assistant Professor Health Programs

Nurse Practitioner Instructor/ Assistant/ Associate/Full Professor

Site Coordinator at Detroit Medical Center

Temporary Staffing Employment Opportunities

Tenure System Faculty Position