TERRE HAUTE —
When Jack Turman Jr. came to Indiana State University last fall and learned the nursing program was marking its golden anniversary, he set a simple goal.
The newly named dean of the College of Nursing, Health and Human Services came up with a “50/50 campaign.” The idea was to ask faculty, staff, alumni and partners of the nursing program to contribute $50 each to endow a $50,000 student scholarship fund.
When Turman took the podium Friday for a 50th anniversary celebration, he announced that the goal had been shattered and $81,000 had been raised.
“This was a very generous outpouring in support of this event and the development of the nursing scholarship program,” he said. “These resources will allow students to engage in research with our faculty and in community outreach with our hospital and clinical partners. This helps grow their resumes, producing stellar graduates who are very competitive with nursing graduates across the nation.”
Turman told the audience of more than 200 at the Country Club of Terre Haute he was revising the goal to $100,000. People interested in contributing to the scholarship fund can contact Christin Shuck, Indiana State University development officer, at cshuck@
Citing a recent accreditation team visit that found the program “compliant in every standard,” Turman said this year has been “incredible” for nursing at Indiana State. He credited the “outstanding” leadership team of Lea Hall, executive director, and department chairs Jessica Nelson in baccalaureate nursing completion, Susan Eley in advanced practice nursing and Marcee Everly in baccalaureate nursing.
Turman said his predecessor, Richard “Biff” Williams, Indiana State’s provost and vice president for academic affairs, “did much to advance nursing education at Indiana State” as the founding dean of the College of Nursing, Health and Human Services.
Turman also recognized Maryanne Roehm, who served as the fourth dean of the former School of Nursing from 1978 to 1992. Roehm was instrumental in obtaining accreditation for a continuing education program, in seeking approval for an associate degree in nursing and a revised bachelor’s degree program as well as implementing a master’s degree program.
“Her contributions and achievements in nursing have been significant.” Turman said. “We need to do something to forever honor her and what she’s done.”
Turman announced the Dr. Maryanne Roehm Nursing Scholar Award to be presented annually to an individual who is dedicated to the advancement of nursing at a national level.
He presented the first such award to Cecily Betz, associate professor of clinical pediatrics in the Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California, whom he described as a “personal mentor.”
“She has no problem telling you, ‘You can do a better job; Go make a change,” he said. “All of us who worked under her were guided in that mentality. You might – all of you that are in the college – hear that coming out of me sometimes.”
Betz is director of nursing and research at the USC Center of Excellence in Developmental Disabilities at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles and is an internationally recognized expert in health care transition planning for youth with special health care needs. She is founder and editor-in-chief of the Journal of Pediatric Nursing: Nursing Care of Children and Families. She has also served as editor of numerous pediatric nursing textbooks.
Earlier in the day, Betz delivered the keynote address for a research symposium sponsored by Indiana State’s Lambda sigma Chapter of Sigma Theta Tau, the national nursing honor society.
Betz prepared her remarks for faculty and graduate students and said she was “pleasantly surprised” by a large contingent of undergraduate nursing students who turned out to hear her speak.
“The idea of embarking on a research career is likely to feel very intimidating,” she said. But she encouraged students to focus on research as an option and noted that resources are available at Indiana State for them to develop the skill base needed to conduct research studies. She also pointed out the number of hospitals and other healthcare facilities in Indianapolis and other locations with a short drive from Terre Haute.
Research can be “intellectually challenging and enriching.” She said. “An important aspect of nursing practice is to be able to test the interventions that we use with patients so that we can develop approaches to care that are based on evidence.”
“When you get into a clinical setting, it’s essential that you have positive relationships, not the grumpy, griping kind — that gets you nowhere. You want to be a positive source of influence,” she said.
Betz said she learned late in her career to be very focused in her research. She is currently involved in “four or five different projects” as well as three article submissions and proposals and is coordinating an upcoming conference.
“My colleagues and I would not be able to do this if we weren’t each focusing on our area of expertise,” she said. Betz also told students they needn’t spend hours upon hours at a time poring over their research. It is more productive, she said, to break research time up into one-hour segments.
Third-year nursing students in the audience were impressed with Betz’s presentation.
“She showed you how far you can get. She started out with an associate degree and she’s come all the way [to a doctorate],” said Miranda Lively of Terre Haute.
“She talked about her passion and how you could use that passion and adapt it toward your own practice as a nurse,” added Andra Holland, also of Terre Haute.