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Research Day

Research Day is an annual event for faculty, students, and health care professionals to share the impact of their research, while hearing new perspectives and forging collaborative partnerships.

November 5, 2018

5:00 – 8:30 p.m.

Downtown Hilton

Featured Boynton Lecture: Inspiring Hope through Palliative and End of Life Care Across the Lifespan

Harleah Graham Buck, PhD, RN, FPCN, FAAN is an Associate Professor of Nursing at the University of South Florida where she is also the Coordinator of Chronic Illness Initiatives. Dr. Buck has over 30 years of nursing experience at multiple large health care systems. Dr. Buck’s research examines the influence of the interaction between older adults and their informal caregivers when self-managing chronic illness at home.

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College Receives HRSA & NIH Grants

Associate Professor Lisa C. Lindley has received a four-year award of $1.5 million from the National Institutes of Health National Institute of Nursing Research for her project “Effectiveness of Concurrent Care to Improve Pediatric and Family Outcomes at End of Life.” The study will investigate the impact of concurrent hospice care compared to standard hospice care in improving continuity and quality of pediatric end of life. Lindley will be working with an interdisciplinary team of pediatric end-of-life scholars from nursing, medicine, and health care economics to conduct the first-ever concurrent care study with children and adolescents in hospice care, using nationally represented Medicaid data from 2011 and 2013. The study will compare the effectiveness, potential burdens, and cost of concurrent care compared to standard hospice care for children and adolescents. The findings will expand our understanding of pediatric concurrent care and will inform clinicians and families of the value of this intervention for children and adolescents. This line of investigation is ultimately expected to improve care and outcomes for children, adolescents, and their families at end of life.

Sandy MixerAssociate Professor Sandra Mixer has received a four-year award of $2.6 million from the US Health Resources and Services Administration for her project “Transforming RN Roles in Community-Based Integrated Primary Care through Academic Practice Partnership.” The project supports the expansion of the academic practice partnership between the College of Nursing and Cherokee Health Systems (CHS), a nonprofit organization that provides primary care, behavioral health, and addiction services to more than 70,000 people throughout Tennessee. BSN students will be recruited and trained to provide integrated services to culturally diverse rural and underserved populations at four CHS sites in East Tennessee. The program includes both an innovative undergraduate nursing curriculum change and advancement of the RN workforce through professional development in primary and preventive care. It will provide the region’s first comprehensive community-based integrated primary care (CBIPC) training for students and RNs, with a focus on primary care, population health, and interprofessional education and practice and an emphasis on chronic disease prevention and control, recovery-based mental health and substance use, and childhood obesity. Faculty and clinical partnership liaisons and clinical coaches will serve as role models, preceptors, and mentors to students through more than 300 hours of clinical experiences in CBIPC teams over two years. Nursing workforce projections for the next decade forecast an unprecedented need for nurses to expand their roles in preventive, primary, and chronic care, and CBIPC training will uniquely qualify our BSN graduates to meet those challenges.

State of the School Address


Please join us for Dean Niederhauser’s inaugural State of the School Address to learn about the College of Nursing’s current standing in our mission to optimize health through nurse-led care.


Monday, August 27, 2018 from 5-7pm

Neyland Stadium, East Club (enter gate 26)

Heavy hors d’oeuvres

RSVP by August 20
Space is limited


Questions? Email

Nurses Week Greetings from Dean Niederhauser

It is a distinct honor to send National Nurses Week wishes to more than 5,000 UT nursing alumni all over the world! I would also like to recognize our 76 fac

Dean Victoria Niederhauser

ulty members and 766 current students, 110 of which will walk across the stage at commencement on Saturday!  I know that in big and small ways, by your words and actions, you make a Volunteer Difference in the lives of those you touch. You inspire. You innovate. You influence. Continue reading

Student Spotlight: Sandy Cobb

Sandy Cobb, a UT nursing PhD student, is one of the first class of Tennessee Fellowship for Graduate Excellence recipients.

Sandy Cobb first became interested in seizure disorders while working as an EEG technician at the University of North Carolina Medical Center.

Now Cobb, earning her PhD in nursing, was in the first group of students to receive the Tennessee Fellowship for Graduate Excellence. The premier program provided top-dollar fellowships that helped UT recruit some of the nation’s best graduate students in all fields. Continue reading

Faculty Spotlight: Kim Powell

Kim Powell joined the college in August as an assistant professor. She received her PhD along with a graduate certificate in health policy from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, an MSN from Spalding University and a BSN from Purdue University.

Powell’s research interests are in the areas of health information technology and self-management of patients with multiple chronic conditions. As part of her dissertation research, Powell conducted a multiple methods study and formed partnerships with UT’s Haslam College of Business and private-sector organizations in order to investigate the use of electronic patient portals.

In January 2018, Powell was awarded a post-doctoral appointment with the University of Missouri Sinclair School of Nursing.  As part of her post-doctoral appointment she will work on a grant funded by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) to examine information technology adoption in nursing homes and the impact of technology on quality measures.

The ultimate goal of Powell’s research is to use technological tools such as the electronic patient portal to improve outcomes. “In order to make a significant impact on patient outcomes and to improve delivery of health care services in our country, we must think differently about how we engage patients and empower them to be partners in their care,” said Powell.

As a nurse researcher, Powell is passionate about leading change through improved partnerships between patients and providers as well as partnerships between researchers and health care organizations. During her doctoral studies, she was able to partner with the nation’s largest provider of post-acute care and another large primary care organization in mutually beneficial ways. They supported her in her research and she helped them by giving them insight into their processes and potential areas for improvement.

UT, East Tennessee Children’s Hospital Partner to Advance Health Science

UT and East Tennessee Children’s Hospital (ETCH) have teamed up to create a program with the goal of developing innovations to implement at East Tennessee Children’s Hospital and other hospitals with similar goals.

The Health Innovation Partnership Program (HIPP) will foster collaboration between experts from UT’s College of Nursing, Tickle College of Engineering, and School of Art, and ETCH in an effort to improve everything from patient wait times to recovery from surgery.

“Innovative ideas help a hospital run more efficiently,” said Susan Fancher, clinical instructor and simulation director in nursing. “We want to help ETCH make even better impacts on patient lives. Some of what the UT team will do is teach simulation best practices. Staff who practice skills in a safe simulated learning environment maintain competencies and work together as a team more effectively.”

She said that HIPP will focus on two main areas: Helping the hospital define their problems and needs, and helping them learn processes that address those problems and needs.

“It takes partnerships like this to advance the care we provide within our health system,” said Hella M. Ewing, vice president of patient care services and chief nursing officer at ETCH. “Matching experts at the bedside with the experts at HIPP will allow a synergy to develop creative solutions to the problems that are frustrating and impede efficient quality care. The response from the staff, physicians, and leadership has been very positive.”

One of the driving concepts behind HIPP is that people in the medical field often have great ideas for improving patient care or processes but seldom have the time and tools to develop their ideas.

Sarah Lowe, a professor of graphic design in the School of Art, will teach stakeholders at ETCH—including administrators, educators, providers, and patient advocates—to learn design process thinking, helping to give ETCH the means to develop innovative products or processes to improve care.

Xueping Li, an associate professor of industrial and systems engineering, brings his technological expertise to the project to help develop some of those ideas.

“They have good ideas, but no time,” said Li. “We have the time, research, and students to put their ideas to life.”

He previously worked with Fancher and Tami Wyatt, nursing associate dean of research and Torchbearer Professor, to develop the Health, Innovation, Technology, and Simulation Laboratory—or HITS Lab—at UT, where some training and testing will occur.

Once the HIPP team defines the problem and possible solution, engineering will work out the technical aspects, nursing will focus on the real-world constraints and needs, students will test the new methods or technology, and art will help make it consumer friendly.

Li stressed that the first step toward success is having buy-in and understanding at the executive level before taking it down through the ranks, and that they should consider that even the smallest changes can have major impacts—something echoed by Fancher.

“George Herman Ruth once said, ‘Yesterday’s home runs don’t win today’s game,’” said Ewing. “Having hit 714 home runs, Babe Ruth is revered as one of the greatest baseball players of all time, and just as he reinvented his sport we must never stop reinventing ourselves. We must continue to question the norm and develop solutions for our problems. Through innovated ideas, we can effect change in our pediatric environment and may be able to help other pediatric facilities that suffer from the same problems.”

Using a race car pit crew analogy, Fancher pointed out that something as small as the actions of the person who fills tire pressure can drastically change the outcomes for the driver, so it is essential to practice in a team before the race occurs.

“Even things like how well you have your cleaning crew trained for particular areas of the hospital can impact a patient’s experience,” said Fancher. “We want them to consider all possibilities and become their own best advocates.”

Li said Wyatt was key in developing the idea and building momentum for the new project.

“Wyatt brings experience in innovation labs after touring the country and observing different ways and approaches of doing things,” said Li. “She saw other areas where health care, technology, and innovation were building partnerships and she wanted to bring that here.”

“With contacts in places like Boston, Cincinnati, and Orlando, we can learn from the best of the best and integrate innovation into the fabric of health care here in East Tennessee,” said Wyatt.

Li also credited Stacey Patterson, UT’s vice president of research, outreach, and engagement and president of the UT Research Foundation, for her support and enthusiasm for the project.

Gaylord Designated an American Academy of Nursing Edge Runner

The American Academy of Nursing announces the designation of Nan Gaylord, PhD, RN, CPNP-PC, PMHS, FAANP, FAAN as an Academy Edge Runner for her model, Interprofessional Practice at the Vine School Health Center: A School-Based Nurse-Managed Clinic (VSHC). The Academy’s Raise the Voice Edge Runner initiative recognizes nurse-designed models of care that improve quality, impact cost, and enhance patient satisfaction. Continue reading

Nursing Alumni Event

Calling all alumni!

Join us for a University of Tennessee, College of Nursing alumni gathering on Thursday, April 26, 2018 from 5-7pm at Calhoun’s on the River. Come to this free event to enjoy heavy hors d’oeuvres and reconnect with classmates, faculty and friends. Dress is business casual. Continue reading

Pharmacology Update 2018

The 2018 Pharmacology Update is provided by the University of Tennessee College of Nursing and the UT Health Science Center College of Pharmacy. The program is for nurses, nurse practitioners, pharmacists, psychologists, social workers substance abuse counselors and other health care providers. Continue reading

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