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Augsburg Rolls Out Fully Online RN-BSN Program

Augsburg University will offer a fully online Bachelor of Science in Nursing Completion Program starting in Fall 2024. The program provides flexible scheduling, multiple starts per year, and asynchronous courses to support registered nurses in broadening their career opportunities. Students can start in any semester and proceed at their own pace, completing the program in as little as one year. In addition, free upper-division credits are available for qualifying students who pass the NCLEX-RN exam.

While courses will be offered asynchronously online for maximum flexibility, Augsburg RN-BSN students have access to unique, hands-on learning opportunities as part of their studies. Students can complete required community health practicum hours at Augsburg’s Health Commons drop-in centers throughout the Twin Cities and participate in global immersion courses in Namibia, Guatemala, and Mexico. 

“Augsburg’s nursing programs have a long history of community-based education and teaching anti-racist nursing practice,” said Katie Martin, assistant professor of nursing and program director. “We’re thrilled to be able to offer this same focus on transcultural nursing and health equity in a more accessible format for our BSN completion students.” 

Health systems, hospitals, and public health employers increasingly prefer or require nurses to hold a bachelor’s degree in nursing. The BSN is also a foundational requirement for nurses who wish to pursue graduate nursing education to become a midwife or nurse practitioner. Augsburg’s BSN completion program offers two pathways for students to obtain a master of arts in nursing: an accelerated RN-BSN to MAN and a bridge AD-RN to MAN for nurses with non-nursing bachelor’s degrees. 

Learn more about Augsburg’s BSN Completion Program and apply today.

 

Augsburg Health Commons Bring Drop-In Care to New Locations

PA faculty member Vanessa Bester is seated on a stool providing foot care at a Health Commons location.The Augsburg Health Commons is expanding to bring its proven model of accompaniment-based care to more neighbors through new partnerships and locations.

Late last year, an agreement with M Health Fairview and Redeemer Center for Life formalized a partnership at the Living Room in the Harrison neighborhood of north Minneapolis, where a drop-in site based on the Health Commons model had operated since 2012. Following a disruption of in-person services during the COVID-19 pandemic, the site was re-opened in October 2022 under the leadership of Augsburg Physician Assistant Program Director Vanessa Bester.  

This summer, the first Health Commons in St. Paul opened in the Conway Community Center through a partnership with M Health Fairview, the Sanneh Foundation, and the East Side Health & Well-Being Collaborative. Health Commons Executive Director Katie Clark and Augsburg Board of Regents Chair Dennis Meyer will join St. Paul community leaders on August 16 for a ribbon-cutting ceremony at Health Commons East

These new locations join long-standing Health Commons sites at Central Lutheran Church in downtown Minneapolis and in the Cedar-Riverside neighborhood

“Our nursing and physician assistant faculty, along with our students, are committed to the vision of a drop-in center that focuses on the needs of the communities we serve to address health inequities and other deep-rooted issues faced when seeking care,” said Augsburg President Paul C. Pribbenow. “Augsburg is especially pleased to extend our efforts to the East Side St. Paul neighborhood.”

Augsburg’s Health Commons sites are health-focused drop-in centers led and organized by nursing and physician assistant faculty members, Augsburg students, volunteers, and community members. Developed by Augsburg nursing faculty in the early 1990s, the Health Commons model is founded on principles of hospitality and relationship development that leads to transcultural understanding and health benefits for all participants. 

The people who come to the Health Commons are from diverse cultural and socioeconomic backgrounds, and many are unhoused or marginally housed. Health concerns might include nutrition, medication, stress management, respiratory conditions, injuries, skin problems, and chronic disease such as diabetes and hypertension. Everyone is welcome, and all services are provided free of charge, without proof of need or time constraints. 

Augsburg’s PA program has taken on a growing role as new partnerships and locations have developed. The PA program has led the expansion of services at the Cedar-Riverside Health Commons, connecting with community members providing foot care, a need across many marginalized communities. 

“The PA program is humbled and honored to bring the model of accompaniment-based care into our curriculum and medical practice. Faculty, staff and students are able to build connections, meet people where they are at in their health journey, and learn how health inequities are impacting the people we care for every day. The Harrison neighborhood, Cedar-Riverside, Central Lutheran, and now East St. Paul are the paradigm of what providing health and care should look like in every community,” said Bester. 

To learn more, volunteer, or support the Health Commons, visit augsburg.edu/healthcommons.

Augsburg University Honors Nurses for Excellence in Transcultural Care

Two headshots of dark-haired, smiling women. Valerie DeCora Guimaraes (on the left) is wearing a red-striped shirt. Jenna Nelson is wearing a black shirt and gray cardigan.
Augsburg nursing students Valerie DeCora Guimaraes (left) and Jenna Nelson.

Jenna Nelson and Valerie DeCora Guimaraes, two nurses pursuing advanced degrees at Augsburg University, have received the inaugural Nilsson Transcultural Nurse of the Year Award. Transcultural nursing emphasizes care in culturally diverse settings, including outreach to people who are underserved by traditional care systems and who exist outside of the social mainstream. The award is named for professor emerita Beverly Nilsson, who chaired Augsburg’s Department of Nursing and championed care for people living in poverty.

Nelson has spent the majority of her career working with marginalized communities as an emergency department nurse. While working to become a family nurse practitioner, she has engaged extensively as an intern and volunteer at Augsburg’s Health Commons. These nurse-led drop-in sites provide hospitality and care to guests from diverse cultural and socioeconomic backgrounds, many of whom are unhoused or living with mental illness. When the pandemic closed the drop-in locations, Nelson joined a team making weekly food deliveries to local encampments. “Jenna truly accompanies people on their journeys, wherever the path may bring her,” said Health Commons Executive Director Katie Clark.

Guimaraes is the Mayo Clinic’s first Patient Experience Ambassador to work solely with Native American patients. In this role she works to dispel myths about Native American patients and educates colleagues across the Mayo enterprise about health disparities and spiritual care practices. She established a medication initiative to coordinate care with the Indian Health Service upon patient discharge from Mayo, developed a Native American family fund to address food and transportation needs, and successfully advocated to hire additional Native American Patient Navigators in Minnesota and Arizona. “These successes for Native American patients have not been easy,” said Guimaraes, who is pursuing a doctor of nursing practice degree at Augsburg. “It is my passion to help my people that keeps me going.”

Augsburg offers a comprehensive set of programs for nurses who want to advance their careers, including bachelor’s degree completion, master of arts in nursing, and doctor of nursing practice. Health equity and inclusion have been a major focus of the curriculum and experiential learning both locally and globally since the program’s founding. Augsburg’s doctor of nursing practice was one of the nation’s first programs to focus on transcultural nursing leadership.

Learn more about Augsburg’s nursing programs and Health Commons sites.

Auggie Shannon Schuler ’17 earns scholarship from holistic nurses association

Augsburg College student and registered nurse Shannon Schuler ’17 was awarded the 2016 Charlotte McGuire Scholarship at the annual conference of the American Holistic Nurses Association held May 31-June 5. The Charlotte McGuire Scholarship Program was named in honor of the AHNA founder and is intended to recognize and celebrate individuals who are dedicated to practicing holistic nursing at both the undergraduate and graduate levels.

Schuler is pursuing a bachelor of science in nursing and is focusing on caring science, transcultural nursing and holistic approaches to nursing. She also is studying to become a master in reiki and a graduate from the Professional Yoga Therapy Institute in how to apply yoga philosophies and practices in the professional medical environment.

MPR features Augsburg’s Central Health Commons

MPRLogoKathleen Clark, Augsburg College instructor and director of the Central Health Commons, spoke with MPR News about her role at the drop-in health care center.

The Health Commons, which has been open for 22 years and is free to visitors, provides medical and nutritional consultations and services as well as connections to other health care resources.

The focus of care at the Health Commons is communication and hospitality, even though–unfortunately–this approach has become less common in traditional medical settings.

Central Health Commons is funded by Augsburg College, Central Lutheran Church, and other private donations.

To read the article and learn more about the Health Commons, visit the MPR News site.

The story also was picked up by the Associated Press and since has run in:

  • The News & Observer in Raleigh, N.C. — Augsburg College nurses put hospitality first
  • The State of Columbia, S.C. — Nurses at Augsburg College center put hospitality first

Katie Clark answers readers’ questions for Girls Life magazine

Katie Clark, nursing faculty, talked with Girls Life magazine.Augsburg College’s Katie Clark, a member of the nursing department faculty, spoke in July with Girls’ Life magazine to answer questions posed by the magazine’s readers. The publication, which has a readership of more than 2 million girls ages 10-15, is sold at many major bookstores throughout the nation. Clark, who answered a range of questions, was a featured resource in the August/September 2014 issue of the magazine.

 

 

Mpls. St. Paul Magazine talks with Lani Hollenbeck

MSPStPaulAugsburg alumna Lani Hollenbeck ’79 ’11 MAN, a graduate of the College’s undergraduate social work and graduate nursing programs, spoke with Mpls. St. Paul Magazine about her role caring for infants at Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota. In the story, Hollenbeck describes the model she developed to promote positive relationships between caregivers and families in hospitals and her off-duty work through missions to Mexico and Guatemala. She is pursuing a Doctor of Nursing Practice degree at Augsburg with an emphasis in Transcultural Nursing Leadership. The profile of Hollenbeck was part of a longer story that named some of Minnesota’s outstanding nurses. Read “Children’s Health: Lani Hollenbeck.

Julie Philbrook featured in Star Tribune

Minneapolis Star TribuneJulie Philbrook, a graduate of Augsburg College’s Master of Arts in Leadership and Master of Arts in Nursing programs, offered her expertise on head injuries and bicycle helmet safety in a recent Star Tribune article. Philbrook, who is pursuing her Doctor of Nursing Practice degree at Augsburg, serves as a trauma prevention specialist at Hennepin County Medical Center in Minneapolis. To learn how much Philbrook estimates helmets can reduce the chances of sustaining a serious head injury, read, “The Drive: Making the case for bicycle helmets.”

Joyce P. Miller talks with OR Today about Augsburg nursing programs, path from operating room to classroom

spotlight-coverJoyce P. Miller, an assistant professor of nursing, was profiled in OR Today about her nearly 40-year career as a nurse, transition to the classroom, and work in diverse communities through the Health Commons projects. Miller, DNP, RN, shares in the story her perspective on transcultural nursing, actively listening to the needs of patients, the complexity of healthcare, and the importance of establishing rapport and trust with patients. Read “Spotlight On: Joyce P. Miller, DNP, RN” in the online edition of OR Today.