News

Georgia Southern nursing students receive 2018 Abbie Lorene DeLoach Memorial Scholarships

Georgia Southern University nursing students Jayda Anderson, Kelli Shiver and Taylor Wallace received 2018 Abbie Lorene DeLoach Memorial Nursing/Kappa Delta Scholarships during the second annual Abbie DeLoach Foundation Scholarship Luncheon held in April. Read full story here.


Promoting Mental Health

Pictured from left to right: Nursing students Courtney Avera, Abby Patterson,
Kendal Berry, Samantha Campbell, and Teni Adebayo implemented an
anti-bullying activity at the Bulloch County Parks and Recreation
Fall Festival at Mill Creek Park where over 3,000 attended.

Assistant Professor in the School of Nursing, Pamela Worrell-Carlisle, Ph.D., CHPN, MA, RN, is on a mission to decrease the effects of stigma around mental health and the devastating impact mental health has on individuals, families and the community.

Worrell-Carlisle recently served as a guest speaker at the 2018 Alliance on Mental Illness Annual Conference and Meeting that
was held in Atlanta, Georgia, in April, where she spoke about how to reduce stigma among nursing students so that they are motivated and prepared to care for the mind and body as an integrated whole and to serve the local community by promoting open dialogue about mental health.

In addition to guest speaking, Worrell-Carlisle, along with School of Nursing faculty members, Alison Rushing, Ph.D., RN, Rose Mary Gee, Ph.D., RN, and Ellen Hamilton, DNP, MSN, FACHE, RN, have begun investigating perceptions of stigma around mental health in the Statesboro community.

Strategies, such as student-led mental health risk reduction interventions, are being implemented in the undergraduate mental health nursing courses. Nursing students enrolled in the Mental Health Nursing course on Georgia Southern University Statesboro Campus, are required to design and implement a mental health promotion project that disseminates information about mental health to the Statesboro community. Students who have previously been enrolled in the course have developed and implemented outreach activities to include The Opioid crisis, Mindfulness for Teens, Anti-Bullying, What color are you feeling, Expressive art and your health, Alcohol use and women, Addiction 101: Alcohol and Substance Use Facts, Sexual Assault Awareness and Being A Good Sport.

“Awareness and education about mental health needs to permeate throughout our community with the eventual intended effect of reducing risks for mental disorders, promoting early detection and referral for early intervention and improving quality of life,” stated Worrell-Carlisle. “The student-led interventions place mental health on the agenda for public display and discourse.”

Students are also responsible for distributing a business size card with local mental health providers’ contact information as well as National and State crisis hotline numbers while out in the community.


Zanetos named Golden Isles Arts and Humanities Volunteer of the Year

(R) Joanne Zanetos was recognized for her volunteer efforts by (L) Heather Heath, executive director of the Golden Isles Arts and Humanities.

Joanne Zanetos, DNP, MSN, RN, assistant professor in the School of Nursing, has been named the Golden Isles Arts and Humanities Volunteer of the Year.

Zanetos has more than three years of service with the Golden Isles Arts and Humanities Association and has racked up service hours at First Friday events, by selling tickets at Sounds by the Sea Concerts and by ushering for various concerts held at the Ritz Theatre.

After moving to Georgia from Ohio where she actively volunteered with the Columbus Symphony Orchestra League and the Columbus Symphony Orchestra Women’s Association, Zanetos knew she wanted to continue her effort to give back to the community. She got involved with one of her favorite causes to date, “The Big Read,” a National Endowment for the Arts initiative to encourage literary reading.

“I was stationed at a local thrift store passing out books to the local children,” she said. “I will never forget the face of a young red headed boy, maybe 6 or 7 years old. He was wearing clothes tattered and torn. The store gave him a shirt to keep him warm on that cool autumn day. I gave him the book, Huckleberry Finn. The boy looked at it opening all the pages. He looked like he was admiring it as if he had never seen or had one. I told him it was his to keep. He had a smile on his face from ear to ear. The child thanked me and held the book close to his heart. I will never forget him or his face.”

Zanetos uses her volunteer work as a way to give back to the community that has given her the opportunity to advance her career in the nursing discipline. During her time volunteering with the Golden Isles Arts and Humanities, she has met many individuals that she would consider worthy of the title, so she was surprised when she was named.

“I am honored to represent the community in achieving this award,” she said.

Zanetos’ winning plaque is on display in the Ritz Theatre in Brunswick, Georgia.


School of Nursing Receives $1.6 Million Grant

Georgia Southern University’s School of Nursing recently received a $1.6 million grant for a Behavioral Health Workforce Education and Training (BHWET) program. The BHWET program aims to develop and expand the behavioral health workforce serving populations across the lifespan. This program will increase the number of providers prepared to deliver team-based psychiatric/mental health services to rural and medically underserved populations in South Georgia.

“Primary care providers continue to be the most common portal of entry into our health care system. Area mental health providers are few and mental health needs currently overwhelm area primary care settings, emergency rooms and communities,” stated Melissa Garno, EdD, RN, professor and BSN program director. “This program will provide support over the next four years for the education of psychiatric/mental health nurse practitioner (PMHNP) students in settings practicing an integrated model of mental health and primary care using a team approach.” Support from this grant will enhance interdisciplinary educational partnerships between the Georgia Southern University School of Nursing PMHNP program and statewide community service boards (CSBs) and Southeast Georgia federally qualified health centers (FQHCs) that implement interprofessional care. All Georgia counties are served by one of 13 CSBs. Southeast Georgia FQHCs that provide comprehensive behavioral health and primary services include J.C. Lewis Primary Healthcare Center, Savannah, GA; Curtis V. Cooper Primary Health Care, Savannah, GA; and East Georgia Healthcare Center which has ten satellite clinics throughout Southeast Georgia.

BHWET will provide much needed subsistence stipends to BSN-DNP students choosing the psychiatric/mental health nurse practitioner specialty during their clinical education when placed in these or other approved agencies that provide interprofessional or team-based care, including primary care (PC) services. “The program’s clinical requirements often necessitate reducing professional practice schedules to a part-time basis, thus severely impacting the student’s financial resources during this year. Without this support, many students would have difficulty incurring the costs of graduate school,” stated Garno.

Clinical placements at qualified agencies will assist in closing the gap in access to mental health services. “The project not only creates an avenue for PMHNP students to participate in interdisciplinary education at selected clinical partner sites, but will also create a pipeline for CSBs and FQHCs to recruit and hire additional PMH providers upon graduation,” noted Garno.

The grant is funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), on behalf of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). Garno serves as the BHWET grant principal investigator/director, along with co-authors Lee Broxton, scholarship and research specialist at the Center for Nursing Scholarship and Research, and Stephanie Broxton, administrative assistant for the PMHNP Track in the graduate program.


Nursing Ranked No. 3 for Best Online Bachelor’s in Nursing

Georgia Southern University’s School of Nursing in the College of Health and Human Sciences has been ranked No. 3 as one of the 30 Best Online Bachelor’s in Nursing (BSN) for 2017 by Best Degree Programs.

Over 70 accredited colleges and universities were reviewed. Only BSN programs that have received one or more rankings from a major publication were selected. Programs were than ranked based on affordability.

“We are pleased to receive this honor recognizing our RN-BSN program. The hard work and dedication of faculty teaching in the program has resulted in this award for excellence,” stated Sheri Carey, DNP, APRN, PCNS-BS, CCRN, assistant professor and director of the RN-BSN program.

“Influenced by our reputation of excellence, students from around the state of Georgia apply for admission to the program.” The RN-BSN program is fully online and designed exclusively for individuals who are currently registered nurses who wish to earn a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree and achieve professional advancement and personal enrichment.


School of Nursing • Georgia Southern University