The LSU Health New Orleans School of Nursing is continuously growing and evolving to achieve its vision of being a leader of excellence in nursing education, and two new designations reflect significant achievements toward that goal. The School of Nursing is now a member of the National Collegiate Honors Council and an International Association of Forensic Nurses-accredited training center for Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners.
A New Opportunity to Hone Honors Offerings
The National Collegiate Honors Council (NCHC), founded in 1966, is a unique educational organization designed to support and promote undergraduate honors education. In the summer of 2020, the School of Nursing became a member of this international community of educational institutions, professionals and students passionate about advancing honors education.
The school’s undergraduate honors program, Mentoring Undergraduate Students for Excellence in Scholarship (MUSES), which provides a highly individualized research and scholarship experience, exemplifies NCHC values.
“Excellence is at the core of everything we do as a school of nursing,” says MUSES Course Coordinator and Program Facilitator Jennifer Martin, DNP, CRNA, Assistant Professor of Clinical Nursing, Nurse Anesthesia. “We are constantly seeking out extraordinary opportunities for our students, and our membership with the NCHC is one of those.”
Through NCHC, Dr. Martin says faculty will have opportunities to participate in training, professional development and collaborative events to build and sustain the School of Nursing’s honors program and curriculum.
“Our MUSES students will have access to honors scholarships and exclusive events through NCHC and its members,” Dr. Martin says. “In addition, students will have the opportunity to publish their research and scholarly work through the NCHC web journal of Undergraduate Research and Creative Activity (UReCA).”
As a National League for Nursing Center of Excellence, recognized as being one of only 10 nursing schools across the country for the criterion of “Promote the Pedagogical Expertise of Faculty,” Dr. Martin adds that NCHC membership will allow faculty to deepen their understanding of what an honors education entails. She says the school’s administrative team, especially Dean Demetrius Porche, DNS, PhD, PCC, ANEF, FACHE, FAANP, FAAN, has offered constant support for the MUSES program as a unique honors offering for undergraduate students at the school.
School Recognized as Leader in SANE Training
In the fall of 2018, the School of Nursing received a $1.3 million grant to increase the number of sexual assault nurses in Louisiana. So far, the school has trained more than 100 of these nurses, according to the Program Director for the Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) Grant and SANE Program, Jessica Landry, DNP, FNP-BC, Program Coordinator, BSN-DNP Primary Care Family Nurse Practitioner and Assistant Professor of Clinical Nursing.
The training is made up of two parts, one 40-hour online didactic course provided by the International Association of Forensic Nurses (IAFN) and then a two-day clinical immersion course during which participants practice speculum examinations and collect evidence from standardized live patients. Gynecological teaching assistants (GTAs) who are trained in simulating sexual assault patients come to campus and allow participants to do as many speculum exams as they need to feel comfortable with this skill. These GTAs also practice communication skills with participants.
“They simulate, in real time, a sexual assault survivor, and the participant has to collect a history of the event, demonstrate a trauma-informed approach to care, and properly collect evidence from their body, as well as use an artificial light source and digital photography,” says Dr. Landry.
Since August 2020, the School of Nursing has been recognized as one of only 18 IAFN-approved centers in the United States for the two-day clinical training component. This means that the school’s Nursing Skills and Technology Center can now provide the two-day simulation with live patients.
Once certified, the SANE is specially trained to:
- Obtain a history of trauma using careful interviewing skills
- Understand and obey laws and requirements for evidence collection, patient rights and resources
- Properly obtain, package and label evidence and maintain the chain of custody for all evidence
- Collaborate with law enforcement and advocacy groups
- Know what labs and medications patients should receive immediately and months after assault
- Document findings
- Handle photography taken of the assault
- Ensure victim confidentiality
- Perform speculum examinations and anoscopy examinations
- Use colposcopy and digital photography
For the remainder of the grant, which ends in September 2021, SANE training is free to nurses deemed eligible for the program. Interested applicants should email LSUSANEProgram@lsuhsc.edu.