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South University Nursing Faculty and Staff to Attend 2017 FNPN Conference

by South University
July 25, 2017
Image of a nurse surrounded by various symbols related to nursing.

At South University, our nursing students and faculty understand the importance of lifelong learning, especially amidst the ongoing transformation of our healthcare systems, our aging US population, and the limited access to care in many communities.

In the College of Nursing and Public Health, our academic offerings can prepare you with a strong foundation and the fundamental knowledge and skills you’ll need to continue developing and evolving throughout your career. We encourage our students and faculty to be active in furthering the nursing community, and we support nursing organizations such as the Florida Nurse Practitioner Network (FNPN) that help nurses to learn from each other and encourage discussions about new nursing methods and techniques.

South University at the 2017 FNPN Conference

Through numerous workshops, training courses, and presentations, this year’s FNPN conference explores a variety of caregiving best practices as well as the many ways that the nursing community is transforming the healthcare field. Held August 10-12, 2017 at Walt Disney World Dolphin Hotel in Lake Buena Vista, FL, the conference will include keynote speeches on the future of nurse practitioners in healthcare as well as strategies for solving complex healthcare problems. Recognizing the importance of these discussions, South University will be attending the conference, with team members available to chat with attendees and discuss how our graduate programs can prepare you for this ever-evolving profession.

Among the team representing South University will be Dr. William Warrington, PhD, ARNP, FNP-C, CCRP, an accomplished nurse practitioner and educator, with over 25 years of nursing experience. Warrington is a South University Assistant Dean and Associate Professor for Graduate Nursing at the South University Orlando Learning Site. At our Orlando Learning Site, students can attend classes and meet with advisors and faculty in-person once a week, while completing their remaining coursework online or in clinical settings.

Warrington holds an MSN from Georgetown University as well as a PhD in Nursing Science / Physiology from the University of Florida. His hospital nursing experience includes time in the ICU as well as time in cardiac catheterization laboratories. Warrington has also held the title of Nurse Scientist, working for 5 years with the Center for Nursing Research, where he served as co-investigator in numerous studies and co-authored multiple peer-reviewed articles, including one published in the Journal of the Association for Vascular Access.

In addition to guiding and mentoring South University students, Warrington continues to practice at a family medicine clinic in Orlando and volunteers his time as a Nurse Practitioner for Shepherd's Hope Inc, providing free care to low-income families in need.

Stop by to see us!

Are you a nurse practicing in Florida? We hope to see you at the FNPN Conference this August, and we invite you to stop by the South University booth on Friday or Saturday to meet Dr. Warrington! In the meantime, you can explore all of our Nursing programs on our website and find South University faculty and student stories on our blog.

by South University
July 25, 2017
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Meet Novi's Graduate Nursing Program Director, Dr. Michele McMahon

by South University
July 10, 2017
South University, Novi nursing faculty with Dr. Anna Czubatyj in the center.

As a nurse practitioner, graduate instructor, and Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) Graduate Program Director at South University, Novi, Dr. Michele McMahon's communication skills are a large part of her success.

"Communication has to be the basis of our program, of our educational system, and of how we work together as colleagues," says McMahon, who has an open door policy with her students and encourages all instructors in the FNP program to do the same.

With dual certification in acute care and family nurse practitioner as well as a Doctor of Nursing Practice degree to her name, McMahon considers what types of communication her academic experiences have lacked or benefitted from, as she teaches other RNs the fundamentals of working as an advanced practice nurse.

"When I graduated about nine years ago with my acute care degree, there was a significant gap between what I was taught in school and what I was really doing in practice," she says. "I use that as a basis to teach my students, and say, 'These are the things that I struggled with when I got out of school.'"

McMahon also allows students to identify their own areas where they need to improve, getting to know the students and their nursing experiences when they start the class and then discussing their growth as the class progresses.

"I prompt them, 'Let's talk about where you're at now from where you were five weeks ago. How well do you feel like you've grasped this information? Looking at syllabus for the rest of the term, what things are missing?,'" says Dr. McMahon. "If I have time, we'll squeeze those in. If not, I will find resources for students so they can get that additional information."

Student surveys are another valuable tool she uses for gathering feedback from students, identifying topics students found difficult to grasp or aspects of courses that they believe could have done differently. Gathering and reviewing this feedback allows McMahon to continuously be improving the FNP program and its courses.

McMahon's teaching also relies heavily on her clinical and bedside nursing experiences. "You can read whatever you want in the books, but until you're approached with a specific situation it doesn't become real to you," she says. "Scenarios and real life examples are so important for student learning."

Currently, McMahon works in home health assessment, conducting outpatient visits in which she completes physical exams and medication reviews as well as provides patient care. On such visits, McMahan spends much of her time educating patients, their families, and their caregivers for disease prevention and health promotion—covering everything from explaining the purpose of their various medications to reviewing their chronic illness and its impacts. This work also involves careful listening and observing.

"You have to identify the barriers keeping them from the things they need to do to maintain their health," she says. "Sometimes they don't have anyone else, and your visit once a year is something that they look forward to. Oftentimes people are embarrassed. They don't want to say something's wrong, that they don't have enough money to pay their bills or that they don't have a way to get to their appointments, or whatever the case may be."

By listening and evaluating the situation, McMahon helps find patients the support they need, whether through social services or connecting them to a community support group.

Outside of her home health work, McMahon provides critical care as a Nurse Practitioner Intensivist at St. John Oakland Hospital, where, in 2014, she was named Nurse Practitioner of the Year for the St John Health System.

For other nurses, her advice is to always be eager to learn and to help educate others. "We all were a new nurse once or a new student once or have grown from someplace," she says. "We have to support each other to get us where we need to be. We need each other."

by South University
July 10, 2017
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