xt7mw6694h5c https://exploreuk.uky.edu/dips/xt7mw6694h5c/data/mets.xml The Frontier Nursing Service, Inc. 2013 bulletins  English The Frontier Nursing Service, Inc. Contact the Special Collections Research Center for information regarding rights and use of this collection. Frontier Nursing Service Quarterly Bulletins Frontier Nursing University, Vol. 88, No. 2, Winter 2013 text Frontier Nursing University, Vol. 88, No. 2, Winter 2013 2013 2014 true xt7mw6694h5c section xt7mw6694h5c FNU

Winter 2013 n Volume 88 n Number 2

Downtown Hyden is home to our new clinical simulation lab.

Growing with Our Students

New clinical simulation lab enhances
our students’ educational experience
Page 14

US ISSN 0016-2116

Introduction to FNU


The Journey – Dr. Susan Stone


Beyond the Mountains


Alumni Spotlight


Courier Corner


Field Notes


Class Notes




In Memoriam


Frontier Nursing Service Quarterly Bulletin (USPS 835-740,
ISSN 00162116) is published at the end of each quarter by Frontier Nursing Service, Inc., 132 FNS Dr., Wendover, KY 41775.
Periodicals Postage Paid at Hyden, KY, and at additional mailing
offices. Subscriptions: $5 per year. POSTMASTER: Send address
changes to Frontier Nursing Service Quarterly Bulletin, 132 FNS
Dr., Wendover, KY 41775.

Copyright FNS, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Frontier does not share its donor mailing list.


to Frontier Nursing University

Mary Breckinridge spent her early years in many parts of the world –
Russia, France, Switzerland and the British Isles. After the deaths of her two
children, she abandoned the homebound life expected of women of her class
to devote herself to the service of families, with a particular focus on children.
Mrs. Breckinridge founded the Frontier Nursing Service in 1925 after
several years of studying and practicing nursing and midwifery in the
United States, England, Scotland and France. It was the first organization
in America to use nurses trained as midwives collaborating with a single
medical doctor, based at their small hospital in Hyden. Originally the staff
was composed of nurse-midwives trained in England. They traveled on
horseback and on foot to provide quality primary care, including maternity
care, to families in their own homes. In 1928, she recruited young people
to serve as Couriers and help the Frontier staff and nurse-midwives in
all manner of efforts. In 1939, Mrs. Breckinridge established a school of
nurse-midwifery. The school provided graduates, many of whom stayed to
offer care to families in Leslie County, Kentucky.
Today, Mrs. Breckinridge’s legacy extends far beyond Eastern Kentucky
through Frontier Nursing University (FNU), which offers a Doctor of
Nursing Practice degree and a Master of Science in Nursing degree with
tracks as a Nurse-Midwife, Family Nurse Practitioner and Women’s Health
Care Nurse Practitioner. FNU has students and graduates serving all 50
states and many countries.
Mary Breckinridge said: “Our aim has always been to see ourselves surpassed, and on a larger scale.” (Wide Neighborhoods, 1952)

How to Reach Us
The Office of Development and Alumni Relations: Please direct questions,
comments or updates to Denise Barrett, Director of Development, at (662) 846-1967 or send
an e-mail to development@frontier.edu.
The Wendover Bed & Breakfast Inn: The Big House, Mary Breckinridge’s home, is a licensed
Bed & Breakfast Inn located at Wendover. For reservations or to arrange a tour, call Michael Claussen,
Development Coordinator, at (859) 899-2707 or e-mail michael.claussen@frontier.edu. Group
tours can be arranged, and we are always happy to set up tours for organizations and educational
programs with an interest in nursing history and Appalachian studies.



By Dr. Susan E. Stone,
Frontier Nursing University President and Dean

Undeniable evidence underscores
need for more nurse-midwives
Findings of landmark study offer further proof
that birth centers can improve outcomes for U.S. mothers
Mary Breckinridge understood from the beginning that documenting outcomes was vitally important for improving the quality of healthcare as well as
proving the value of the midwifery model of care and gaining support for the
Frontier Nursing Service (FNS). She kept detailed records of all the families
served in the region and instructed the FNS nurses to carefully document the
care provided and the outcomes. Because of this dedication to keeping impeccable records, the Frontier Nursing Service was able to have a study completed
by the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company. We have continued to reference
these findings as evidence to support the midwifery model of care. After the
first 1,000 births attended by FNS nurses, Metropolitan Life concluded that:
The study shows conclusively what has in fact been shown before, that the type of
service rendered by the Frontier Nurses safeguards the life of mother and babe. If such
service were available to the women of the country generally, there would be a saving
of 10,000 mothers’ lives per year in the United States, there would be 30,000 less still
births and 30,000 more children alive at the end of the first month of life. The study



demonstrates that the first need today is to train a large body of nurse-midwives,
competent to carry out the routines that have been established both in the Frontier
Nursing Service and in other places where good obstetrical care is available.
Ever since those early findings, Frontier Nursing University has been working to educate nurse-midwives to care for women and families across the nation. In the last two decades, FNU has increased its output of nurse-midwives exponentially, utilizing
distance-learning methods to reach nurses in all 50 states.

The state of our country’s maternal care only fuels our
motivation to educate more nurse-midwives to improve outcomes. The United States has poorer maternal health rankings than 33 other First World countries. The C-section rate
has steadily risen from 21% percent in 1996 to 32% of all
births now. The C-section rate in birth centers has remained a
steady 4 to 4.6% for more than 20 years. Poor outcomes experienced by mothers and babies in this country can be improved through the use of more nursemidwives and birth centers for pregnancy and childbirth in normal pregnancies.
Further studies proving this fact have been needed to persuade stakeholders to
change the way our healthcare system cares for expectant mothers.

Nurse-midwives and researchers continue to document their success in an
effort to inform the healthcare system, government funding programs, insurance providers and the public about the benefits of nurse-midwifery care. In
January, the Journal of Midwifery and Women’s Health published the National
Birth Center Study II, nearly 25 years after the first study of its kind was published. The new study’s authors are Frontier alumna Susan Rutledge Stapleton,
CNM, DNP; Cara Osborne SD, CNM; and Jessica Illuzzi, MD, MS. Dr.
Stapleton, a former director of FNS Maternity Services at Mary Breckinridge
Hospital, is a Class 1 graduate of FNU’s Doctor of Nursing Practice program.
The study followed more than 15,500 women who chose birth centers for
their care through pregnancy and childbirth. It included women who received
care in 79 midwife-led birth centers in 33 states from 2007 through 2010. The
study’s significant findings include:

n Ninety-four percent who entered labor planning their birth at a birth
center achieved a vaginal birth. The C-section rate for low-risk women choosing to give birth at a birth center was only 6%, compared with the U.S. rate of
27% for low-risk women

n O ut of the 15,574 women who planned to give birth at the birth center
at the start of labor, 84% gave birth at their intended birth center. Out of the
entire sample, 4.5% were referred to a hospital before being admitted to the
birth center; 11.9% transferred to the hospital during labor; 2% transferred



after giving birth; and 2.2% had their babies transferred after birth. Most of
the in-labor transfers were first-time moms (82%).

n O ut of the 1,851 women who transferred to the hospital during labor,
54% had a vaginal birth, 38% had a Cesarean, and 8% had a forceps or vacuum-assisted vaginal birth.
n Most of the in-labor transfers occurred for non-emergency reasons, such
as prolonged labor. Less than 1% of the study sample transferred to the hospital during labor for emergency reasons. A very small percentage of women and
infants transferred after birth for emergency reasons.

Within one week of publication of this landmark study, representatives
from the American Association of Birth Centers and the American College
of Nurse-Midwives presented the findings to Congress. The purpose of the
briefing was to highlight the study, give it national attention and show lawmakers the better outcomes and cost savings possible with increased use of
birth centers.

This study marks another milestone in midwives’ push for better care and
options for childbearing women and families. Mounting evidence of the costeffectiveness, safety and satisfaction of midwifery care has already increased
the number of births attended by nurse-midwives. The Centers for Medicaid
and Medicare also has shown a renewed interest in this model of care and
birth centers through its Strong Start Initiative. This initiative, announced in
2012, provides millions in funding to support birth centers, breastfeeding support and the Centering Pregnancy model, a model for prenatal care that provides healthcare, education and support in a group setting.

We are proud of our graduates who work on the frontlines of care for
women and families. We are equally proud of those working behind the scenes
to validate the outcomes of nurse-midwives and their clients to provide the
evidence to support the profession. This is how we can continue to grow as
a profession and ultimately improve outcomes for mothers and babies in the
United States.
Frontier Nursing University stands ready to educate the legions of nursemidwives needed to turn maternity care around in our country. As the largest
nurse-midwifery program in the United States, we will continue to increase
access to the midwifery model of care for those women and families where our
graduates live and work.
The complete reference for the study is as follows:
Stapleton S., Osborne C, Illuzzi J. “Outcomes of care in birth centers: demonstration of a durable
model.” Journal of Midwifery and Women’s Health, V56, No.1.




Frontier student furthers her education
to help families in Malawi, Africa

For Rebecca Epperson, a Class 86 family nurse practitioner student, her
education at FNU will advance the work she is doing in Malawi, where she
volunteers as a nurse. Rebecca and her family have lived in the African country
for three years.

“I run a busy mission hospital in the capital city of Lilongwe as well as serve
as the medical coordinator for the organization that my husband and I started
here called E3 Worldwide,” said Rebecca, who has helped to open a maternity
wing in the hospital. “We work in villages building school blocks, securing water, teaching agriculture, and I organize and run mobile clinics.” E3 stands for
Educate, Empower and Employ. It is a non-profit Christian-based organization that she and her husband founded in 2008 to help overcome poverty and
inspire a sustainable culture while spreading the word of God.
Rebecca decided to attend Frontier and become a family nurse practitioner
to help with Malawi’s healthcare plight. “There is a huge shortage of doctors in
Malawi, which is what motivated me to go back for my FNP degree,” Rebecca

Above: Rebecca, shown with her son
Chisomo, said he was gravely ill at the
time she and her husband adopted
him, but he is now “a happy, healthy
member of our family.”
At left: A long line of people wait for
the mobile clinic to start. “We usually
see 1,000 to 1,200 patients at each
mobile clinic,” Rebecca says.



said. “Frontier has been the perfect school for my needs, because it has allowed
me to remain here in Malawi with my family, continuing our work in the villages while working toward my goal of becoming an FNP, to be better trained
to help here more.”
Rebecca and her husband have three children: Ryan, 15; Kimberly, 12; and
Chisomo, 4, whom they adopted. Chisomo was rescued from the village near
death with malaria, pneumonia, sepsis and malnutrition and given a 50 percent
chance of survival, but Rebecca reports that he is “now a happy, healthy member
of our family.”

According to E3, Malawi has an incredibly high patient-to-doctor ratio.
Based on information from Pocket World in Figures 2012 published by The
Economist, Malawi’s doctor-to-patient ratio is 1-59,533*. Malawi’s shortage of
doctors makes it clear why mobile clinics are needed. “We usually see 1,000 to
1,200 patients at each mobile clinic,” Rebecca says.

In November, Rebecca received the Nancy B. Taylor Scholarship, awarded
to a Frontier student who plans to do international health work after graduating. She tells us scholarship support has been a blessing for her. “Because we
are fully volunteer, we rely on donations and the support of friends, family and
organizations back home to survive and complete our projects here in Malawi.
This includes paying for my tuition at Frontier. Thanks to the scholarship committee, this task is now a bit easier.”
After graduation, Rebecca plans to pursue her Doctor of Nursing Practice
degree (at Frontier, she hopes) while returning to Malawi to work as an FNP
in the clinic setting while also doing mobile clinics. E3, at that time, will begin
building a permanent clinic in Gusu, one of the villages where the group does
most of its mobile clinics. She also hopes to organize and lead short-term mission teams to volunteer in Malawi.
*The Economist (2012). Pocket World in Figures, 2012. London: Profile Books Ltd.

To learn more about E3
Go to the “E3 Worldwide” page on facebook or
to the website at www.e3worldwide.org.
To volunteer

Rebecca helps nursing students give IV medication to a very
sick patient in the back of her truck, used as an ambulance.


E3 has a great need for nurse-midwives to
help sustain the maternity wing at the
mission hospital in Lilongwe, Malawi. Opportunities exist for both FNPs and CNMs for
short-, mid-, or long- term service. Contact
Rebecca Epperson for more information at



Dustin Spencer works to improve health

in his rural Michigan community

Dustin Spencer, who holds his master’s and DNP degrees from Frontier,
decided the best way to better his community in rural Michigan was to better himself. “I chose to be a family nurse practitioner to improve the health
in the rural communities where I live,” said Dustin, who came to Frontier
in 2007 with his associate’s degree and completed his master’s through the
ADN-to-MSN Bridge Program in 2010. Dustin saw the
need for advanced practice nurses to not only fill the void
of primary care providers in his rural community, “but to
lead the community toward better health as collaborators in
various specialty clinics.”
To become an even more effective leader, Dustin knew he
had to go further. “I chose to obtain my doctoral education
in order to better effect that change as a teacher and mentor
to other nurses and health professionals.” In 2012, Dustin
received his Doctor of Nursing Practice degree from FNU.
He holds the honor of being Frontier’s first Bridge graduate
to complete the university’s post-master’s DNP program.
Dustin works as a nurse practitioner in emergency services, providing emergency care to patients of all ages in a small rural hospital in Clare, Mich. He has
served in that role for a year and a half. Before that, he practiced family nursing
in a National Health Service Corps Rural Health Clinic for two years.
“The patients I serve in the emergency room are from a wide variety of socioeconomic backgrounds,” he said. “Most of them, however, are from very impoverished families with very limited resources. My Frontier education provides
a solid foundation for addressing not only the emergent and urgent medical
needs but also for addressing the issues that arise due to the inability of the
patient to appropriately follow up after their emergency room visit.”
Dustin said his education has brought a holistic focus “to the often narrowly
focused care provided in the emergency room,” which allows him to assist patients not only in treating their urgent and unexpected conditions but also in
improving their overall health.
Dustin is dedicated to serving his profession. He was selected by the American Nurses Credentialing Center, the world’s largest and most prestigious
nurse credentialing organization, to serve on the Emergency Nurse Practitioner
Content Expert Panel. This committee will develop the new Emergency Nurse
Practitioner board credentialing program.



By Nancy Reinhart,
FNU Development Officer/Courier Coordinator,
Courier 1998

Courier Program
applications are rolling in!

We are now accepting applications for the 2013 summer Couriers! What
a cheerful prospect for the start of a new year – volunteers wearing familiar
khaki pants and white shirts back on the job, milling about Wendover, giving
service and gaining wisdom.
Rising from its familiar roots, the program is evolving and expanding. As
former Courier Coordinator and FNU Board Member Jane Leigh Powell
says, “The Courier Program is growing just like the Banyan tree Mrs. Breckinridge envisioned her rural health service to be.”
Of the Couriers accepted into the program for
this summer, some will serve the Mary BreckinMore information
ridge hospital system, do home health visits and
Applications are being
engage in community projects as before. Others
taken now for the 2013 prowill be placed at newly developed “outpost sites,”
gram. Interested individuals
clinics serving underserved and rural communities
should contact the Courier
where Frontier Nursing University alumni work.
Coordinator as soon as posThe outpost sites chosen for 2013 are Little
sible at nancy.reinhart@
F lower Clinic in Hazard, Ky.; The Hazard Clinic
frontier.edu or visit www.
in Hazard, Ky.; Lisa Ross Birth Center in Knoxfrontier.edu/courier.
ville, Tenn.; Women’s Wellness and Maternity
Birth Center in Madisonville, Tenn.; and the
W hite House Clinic in McKee, Ky.
We’ve developed a terrific program for the Couriers and will choose participants by the start of April from what promises to be an excellent applicant
Do you know the right person to apply? Here’s who we are looking for:
n Individuals who are curious, adaptable, self-motivated, self-structured and
able to independently engage in unfamiliar situations
n Must have a commitment to respect and tolerance
n Should be interested in public health, healthcare, social work or a related
field, share a commitment to Frontier’s mission of serving the rural and underserved and be ready for an adventure
n Preference will be given to applicants at least 20 years of age who have
completed two years of higher education



Cartoon of Courier and mule gritting teeth at each other
by Katharine “Kitty” More (formerly Biddle) during her time as a Courier, 1952.

Note to former Couriers: You will be hearing more from me soon! I’ll be sending
you a letter from the desk of the Courier Program detailing more ways you can plug
into the work - look for it in your mailbox in the spring. And always feel free to email
me with questions, concerns, stories or comments at nancy.reinhart@frontier.edu.

Thank you to our Courier Program Advisory Committee
An amazing crew of former Couriers has come together to work on developing this year’s
program. A big thank you to those who are serving on this year’s Courier Advisory Committee:
w Lee Fox , Rochester, NY
w Carolyn Gregory, Baraboo, WI
w Marian Leibold, Cincinnati, OH
w Tasha Washington-Parker, Burnsville, MN

w Sarah Bacon, Brooklyn, NY
w Ellen Bayard , Albuquerque, NM
w Tim Bratton , Louisville, KY
w Elia Cole , Boston, MA

If you are interested in learning more about or joining the committee, please contact Nancy
Reinhart, Courier Coordinator, at nancy.reinhart@frontier.edu.



n The Frontier Legacy:
Spotlight on a Courier
By Elia Cole, 2009 Courier Term

This is a new feature of our Quarterly Bulletin in which former Couriers
reflect on their experience. To write one, email nancy.reinhart@frontier.edu.

Transformational experience
in Appalachia is ‘stitched into my heart’
My experience as a Courier

As a junior in college, I had just returned from volunteering in a crowded
public hospital in Lima, Peru. The time in Peru was rich with memories and
left me with a desire to learn more about health in my own country. I was
looking for an experience that would offer insight into how healthcare was
distributed in low-resource settings within the United States.
Raised in New York, the Appalachian Mountains seemed as foreign to me
as South America, making a summer internship there all the more appealing.
The Frontier Nursing Service Courier Program offered the perfect combination of adventure and education that I had been searching for.
Some memories particularly stand out. One Saturday, I remember driving
down dirt roads on a quest to find “Hell for Certain,” and on the way being
overtaken by two girls zooming past me on a motorized wheelchair. Another
evening, my fellow Couriers and I went to Corbin, Kentucky, to see the majestic moonbow over Cumberland Falls.

How it impacted my life and vocation
Prior to volunteering in Leslie County, my interest in public health was
mostly focused on communicable disease, particularly HIV and tuberculosis.
It only took a few weeks in Leslie County to realize the overwhelming bur-



den of non-communicable diseases. For me, this signified a turning point, a
change of interest from therapeutic healthcare to primary care and preventive

It was in Leslie County that I first delved into public health research. As a
Courier, I conducted ethnographic research for my undergraduate thesis on
the determinants of healthy lifestyle choices in Leslie County. This was my
first time encountering illiteracy in the United States, a humbling experience
that I will never forget.
My time as a Courier eventually led me to work in a low-resource Salvadorean and Ethiopian community in Washington, D.C. I found that these
individuals and those of Leslie County – distanced by geography, culture and
language – faced many of the same health issues and based their health-related decisions on a similar set of priorities.
I am now a Master of Public Health Candidate at Boston University and
am in the process of applying to medical schools to become a primary care
physician. My time as a Courier helped direct my interest in becoming a physician towards a focus on primary care.

Inspired by Frontier’s commitment to empowering women through healthcare, the Courier Program left me with a motivation to learn how to practice
medicine with the compassion of a midwife. In 2012, I began studies in basic
midwifery through the Massachusetts Midwives Alliance.

The legacy of the Courier program
A Courier is someone looking to learn about themselves; one who thrives
on considering complex issues while addressing barriers through communication, creativity and an innovative spirit. The Courier Program embraces these
individuals by offering opportunities to explore interests, ask questions, and
ultimately become a new member of a larger community.

Why I stay involved

I continue to be motivated by the commitment to service embodied by FNU.
By staying involved, I am reminded of the importance of service and connection through relationships, the aspects of caring for others that make the work
From my journal entry in July of 2009:
“As I sit here on Mrs. Breckinridge’s front porch, listening to the rippling of the
river below, I am filled with a sense of inspiration, to challenge my own expectations
of comfort, and to offer service to those around me. I am moved by the energy of Mrs.
Breckinridge and will leave Kentucky with a small piece of the spirit Appalachia
stitched into my heart.”



Forthcoming book captures
Couriers’ rich experiences

Couriers have always been there for the nurses and staff of the Frontier
Nursing Service and for the people of Eastern Kentucky. Couriers have been
the unpaid, unsung heroes who worked diligently behind the scenes. Functioning as the glue that held the service together, Couriers cared for horses, transported vital supplies and messages, volunteered in the community, completed
necessary projects, and served as ambassadors for the FNS in their home communities.
Anne Z. Cockerham, PhD, CNM, Frontier alumna and faculty member, is
nearing completion of a new book that will showcase the world of Frontier’s
Couriers between 1928 and 2010. Cockerham is the author of last year’s Rooted in
Check our Courier list
the Mountains, Reaching to the World: StoAre your fellow Couriers on our list?
ries of Nursing and Midwifery at Kentucky’s
Anne Cockerham’s new book on the
Frontier School, 1939-1989. Crafted from
history of the Courier Program will
interviews with dozens of former Couriinclude a complete list of all Couriers as well as other primary and secondary
ers who served through 2010 as an
historical sources, her new book will exappendix. We wouldn’t want anyone’s
plore Couriers’ motivations to serve, lessons
service to be overlooked. We need
learned and contributions to the FNS and
YOUR help! Visit www.frontier.edu/
to the community. Lively with anecdotes,
courier and look at our compendium
filled with historical photographs and
of Couriers and years served. If you see
grounded in the history of the FNS, the
someone missing or something that
book provides a fascinating glimpse into
isn’t quite right, email nancy.reinhart@
this untold part of Frontier’s rich history.
Following is a short excerpt from the upcoming book:
After interviewing prospective Couriers, FNS committee members (groups of Frontier friends and donors in cities outside the mountains) sometimes sponsored the young
people, vouching for their worthiness to fill a Courier slot. When they served as Couriers in 1966, girlhood friends Barbara Van Cleave and Jill Davenport worked hard
but sometimes found themselves in precarious positions, even when they knew their
Louisville FNS committee sponsor was due to visit them at Wendover. On the day of
their sponsor’s expected visit, the two young Couriers took an old jeep nicknamed Pat
Ball on an errand but their return trip was delayed enough that they became concerned
about getting back to Wendover in time to greet their visitor. In her haste as the jeep’s
driver, Barbara had a regrettable collision with a possum. Indoctrinated by her father
(the president of the Louisville Humane Society) to prevent the suffering of any critter, Barbara turned around to end the animal’s misery. Unfortunately, in backing up
on the narrow mountain road, Barbara drove the jeep into a ditch. With “headlights



pointed straight up to the sky, Pat Ball wasn’t moving, even in granny gear.” After
some time passed and in spite of the isolated location and the gathering darkness, the
Couriers finally found a phone to call Wendover. Their wish to keep their reputation
with their sponsor unsullied did not come true because it was their sponsor who was
dispatched to come to the girls’ rescue. The Louisville woman arrived shortly thereafter
to tow Pat Ball out of the ditch. She also provided Barbara and Jill with a gentle lecture on Recommended Courier Behavior.

Book about FNU’s first 50 years
named an AJN ‘Book of the Year’
The American Journal of Nursing recognized Rooted in the Mountains,
Reaching to the World: Stories of Nursing and Midwifery at Kentucky’s Frontier
School, 1939-1989 as a 2012 Book of the Year, representing the best in nursing
publishing. The book, written by FNU faculty member and alumna Dr. Anne
Z. Cockerham and Dr. Arlene W. Keeling of the University of Virginia, was
awarded first place in the AJN’s “Public Interest and Creative Works” category.
The awards were announced in the January 2013 issue
of the American Journal of Nursing.
Anne Katz, PhD, RN, a clinical nurse specialist in
Manitoba, Canada, who judged the category in which
the book won, wrote the following: “This book reminded me of how I felt when I read the Cherry Ames books
about nursing. The adventure! The challenges! The fun!
The bravery! A perfect book for the coffee table, it describes the history of the famous Frontier School in
vivid detail and illustrates this story with photographs.”
In addition to receiving an AJN Book of the Year
Award, the book has received outstanding reviews in the Journal of Midwifery
& Women’s Health, The Courier-Journal newspaper in Louisville, Ky., and
the online rural news site Daily Yonder.
Since 1969, the American Journal of Nursing (AJN) has published its prestigious annual Book of the Year honors.
Published by Butler Books, Rooted in the Mountains, Reaching to the World
retails for $30 and can be purchased at www.butlerbooks.com. For more information about the book, go to www.frontier.edu/pioneerbook.




Students practice simulations in the university’s new clinical simulation lab in downtown Hyden.

Hands-on training:

Students prepare for real-life situations
in FNU’s new clinical simulation lab
Frontier Nursing University recently expanded its campus clinical facilities by opening a new clinical simulation lab in downtown Hyden. This new
simulation lab provides an additional space where students can gain hands-on
clinical experience to prepare them for the clinical practicum in their home
communities. FNU nursing and midwifery students will utilize the space during their eight-day clinical skills intensives on campus.
With an enrollment of more than 1,500 students today, FNU acquired the
additional simulation lab to accommodate the growing number of students and
to improve the quality of education provided. The university focuses on training nurse-midwives and nurse practitioners to work in rural and underserved
areas, and high-quality simulation labs are crucial in ensuring the education
that students receive is reflective of what they will encounter with patients in
their own communities. Students work with faculty on clinical simulations to
gain exposure to the types of clinical situations they may experience in their
future roles as practitioners.
The first class to utilize the new lab space was a group of family nurse practitioner students attending an FNU Clinical Bound session in January. Clinical



Bound is the second required on-campus session that provides students with
the opportunity to practice their clinical skills right before beginning their
clinical practicum rotation.
In the simulation lab, students take turns acting as patients with various
symptoms, gathering health history information, asking questions, formulating
diagnoses and prescribing treatments. “This experience was invaluable in helping me quickly identify my strengths and weaknesses prior to going into clinical rounds,” said family nurse practitioner student Will Goodwin. “It gave me
the awareness to make myself a better practitioner and gave me the confidence
I needed to meet my clinical challenges.”
FNP student Kathryn Irwin agreed. She said the experience “helps prepare
us for the great responsibility we are about to undertake.”
After experiencing the new lab with the first group of students, Dr. Julie
Marfell, Associate Dean for Family Nursing, shared, “We are very grateful
for this opportunity to better accommodate students in simulating real-life
patient experiences in a safe environment. Having this new space along with
faculty to provide direction and help students work through different patient
situations leads to a more thorough and personalized experience.”

Dr. Audra Malone of the FNU faculty, at right, works with students on simulation exercises.



Pictured at the unveiling of the kiosk are Ele