Thursday, August 14, 2014

First graduates of accelerated nursing program embrace future career opportunities

In what one graduate called “a life-changing experience,” 16 individuals have made career changes and are pursuing nursing careers through a unique partnership between Ohio University-Chillicothe and Adena Health System. Graduates of the first class of the BASE (Baccalaureate of Science in Nursing: Accelerated Direct Entry Second Degree Education) program are celebrating their accomplishment and looking forward to their futures.

The innovative program, which was launched in the fall of 2012, allows students who hold at least a bachelor's degree to pursue accelerated study toward a bachelor’s degree in nursing (BSN) in as few as five semesters, spanning approximately two years. Upon completion of the program, graduates are eligible to take the NCLEX RN exam, leading to licensure as a Registered Nurse (RN) and entry into professional nursing practice.

The curriculum is based on the traditional BSN program, with course enhancements for accelerated study. The curriculum also allows for master’s degree coursework that can be transferred to any Master of Science in Nursing program.

Most classes were offered in the PACCAR Medical Education Center on the campus of the Adena Medical Center as well as some on the OU-C campus.

“This definitely was a life-changing experience because of the experiences I had and the people I met
throughout the program,” graduate Carolyn Gossett said. “It was difficult but definitely worth the
time. I was impressed with the quality of the education and the diversity of the clinical settings, as well as the camaraderie with other students in the program.”

Gossett previously earned an associate degree in deaf studies interpreting, as well as her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in communication studies, all from Ohio University. “Through mission trips and other types of experiences, I have been fascinated by nursing. I look to use the communication skills I developed during previous college experiences, along with my nursing degree, and bring it all together in one career.”

Graduate Uloaku Irobi described the program as “Intense, tedious and stressful, but very much worth it. There was much studying involved but, we had the advantage of being individuals who previously earned degrees. My inspiration for entering the nursing program was taking care of family members who were sick.” Irobi, who earned a bachelor’s degree in education in her native Nigeria, looks to become an intensive care unit nurse.

 “It was very intense in terms of time commitment, but I was interested in the material, so the reading assignments were not difficult,” Katie Irwin said. “It was a great experience, and I was able to make professional contacts through the clinical experiences.” Irwin pursued a nursing career after being laid off from work for the second time. She earned bachelor’s degrees in occupational safety and environmental health from Ohio University.

Students in the program need to be focused and dedicated. It is a demanding endeavor, with students taking an aggressive plan of study consisting of 10 to 19 academic hours per semester, plus clinical experiences, over five semesters.

Beyond the academics, many students have family concerns and children. In fact, one student gave birth during the course of the program.

The preparedness and the character of the students left a mark on the OU-C faculty members who were involved with the program.

“It has been a challenge to maintain a higher level of rigor to meet their skills and expectations,” Camille Leadingham said. “I have been impressed with how advanced the students are and how prepared they are for the academic demands of this program. We consistently raised the level of teaching to meet their capabilities.”

Fellow nursing faculty member Ronald Vance said, “We all learned a lot working with accelerated students. We had a plan and a vision going into this program, but we had to be flexible to meet the students’ demands. The students brought a variety of educational backgrounds, and we had to periodically step back and look at how to best bring success to the students.

The program is a result of a $750,000 grant that Ohio University secured from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), a federal government agency, to support the launch of the BASE program.

The second class is currently underway.

Love, Loss, and What I Wore will be staged at Ohio University-Chillicothe on August 30

(From left) Marsha Bevins, Kathy Burden, Catharine Nimon, Teresa James and Romaine Newsome Pollchik are appearing in Love, Loss, and What I Wore at Ohio University-Chillicothe on Aug. 30.

Love, Loss, and What I Wore, Nora and Delia Ephron’s award-winning play about women, relationships and clothes, will be presented at 8 p.m. on Aug. 30 in the Bennett Hall auditorium at Ohio University-Chillicothe.

This intimate collection of stories, based on Ilene Beckerman’s best-seller, uses clothing, accessories and the memories they trigger to tell funny and often poignant stories that all women, and others, can recognize. 

The joint OU-C and community production is directed by Steven McBride and boasts an impressive cast of community actors, featuring Romaine Newsome Pollchik, Kathy Burden, Catharine Nimon, Teresa James and Marsha Bevins. Sponsors are Adena Health System, Chillicothe Ross Chamber of Commerce and Wastren Advantage, Inc.

Tickets are available at the OU-C Bennett Hall box office on the evening of the performance beginning 30 minutes before the show. Tickets are $9 for adults, $8 for senior citizens and free for OU-C students. Group rates of $7 per ticket are also available.

The play offers an ideal mother-daughter or date-night evening out.  Nora Ephron was a writer, director and producer best known for her screenplays of romantic comedies including When Harry Met Sally and Sleepless in Seattle. Ephron co-authored screenplays with her sister, writer-producer Delia Ephron, including You've Got Mail.

“Five women share their personal stories of awkward prom dresses, bra fittings, dreadful lighting in dressing rooms, the uneasy relationships with their mothers, high heels, and the men in and out of their lives,”  McBride said. “The monologues and short scenes are gems of universal truths, which are often hilarious and powerful in their brutal honesty.”

“Productions of this play are traditionally very straightforward,” McBride added. “It has elements of a staged-reading, but our cast spent six weeks intimately involved with the nuance of and connection to each character they portray.”

McBride will be directing plays for OU-C in addition to serving as visiting instructor during the 2014-15 academic year. He has directed several plays with the Oak Ridge (Tenn.) Playhouse, DuckEars Productions in Knoxville, Tenn., and Pellissippi State Community College in Tennessee. McBride is the founder and director of the Actors Studio of Ohio. He is also an accomplished actor, composer and songwriter. McBride holds a master of fine arts degree in performance from the University of Tennessee.

The off-Broadway production and the national touring company that previously performed the production of this play featured a rotating cast of women. Some of the first actors were Tyne Daly and Rosie O’Donnell, who were nominated for the 2010 Drama League Awards for Distinguished Performance.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Chillicothe Campus faculty member Barbara Mahaffey appointed to editorial board of professional publication

OU-C faculty member Barbara Mahaffey, Ph.D., has been appointed as an editorial board member of the Journal of Counselor Practice for a two-year appointment that began Aug. 1.The Journal of Counselor Practice is the official journal of the Ohio Counseling Association.

The Journal of Counselor Practice is a peer-reviewed national publication. The JCP is targeted to meet the needs of professional school and mental health counselors across all specialty areas and contains a wide scope of professional manuscripts.

Beyond the professional prestige of the appointment, it also supports Mahaffey’s academic curiosity and, ultimately, her effectiveness as a classroom instructor in sharing the latest advancements in the field with Chillicothe Campus students, particularly those enrolled in the Human Services Technology program.

“For the purpose of keeping updated to inform my pedagogy, I read research. Part of the expectations of Group I faculty is to conduct research and before a person conducts research studies, it is important to undertake a thorough literature review of topics,” she said. “I consider reading research a fun part of my job. I do not know how the editor of this journal found me (I am a lifetime member of the Ohio Counseling Association) but I received an invitation to be a reviewer. I accepted and noted my specialties.”

Mahaffey has also volunteered to serve as an associate editor of the AURCO Journal, a publication of the Association for University Regional Campuses of Ohio. “There will be approximately 30 articles published in that yearly journal next spring, and I will be overseeing the editing of approximately 10 of those articles,” she said.

Mahaffey is an associate professor and coordinator of the OU-C Human Services Technology program. She is also a clinical counselor, with more than 30 years of professional experience and has earned supervising counselor designation.
She earned her bachelor’s degree in communication and her master’s degree in education in community counseling from Ohio University, taking courses at OU-C, and her Ph.D. in education with a major in counselor education from Ohio State University. Mahaffey’s specialty is marriage, couples and family counseling. Mahaffey joined the OU-C faculty in June 2005.