School of Nursing
Waters College of Health Professions


Alumna Serving Behavioral Health Needs of Communities

School of Nursing alumna, Katie Ward (‘12), has jumped in the driver seat to fight the COVID-19 pandemic by providing her nursing skills aboard the THRIVE bus. The bus was mobilized to bring behavioral health care to Emanuel and Candler counties in Georgia. In addition to her role on the THRIVE bus, Ward serves as the Director of Health Services for CarePartners, one of Georgia Southern University’s clinical partners for mental health clinics. Read full story here.

Nursing Students Contribute to the Science of Nursing through Research

This past March, the Rho Psi Chapter of Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing held Research Day 2020. The event was held in Savannah, Georgia, at the Mash Auditorium at St. Joseph’s/Candler Hospital.

The annual event brings together all areas of nursing from students, academics and practicing nurses as well as nursing administrators to collaborate and share evidence based practice topics in nursing. For the first time, senior nursing students from Georgia Southern University Armstrong Campus participated and disseminated their evidence based practice topics via poster presentation.

“Evidenced based practice is essential to providing high quality care to patients and, as nurses, we want to ensure that the interventions we are using have been thoroughly researched and proven to be effective in treating illness, restoring health and preventing disease. As nurses, we are expected to participate in the research process and contribute to the science of nursing. Our students had the unique opportunity to do this as students,” stated Catherine Gilbert, Ed.D, RN, chair of the School of Nursing.

Augusta University College of Nursing Assistant Professor Pricilla Hartley, DNP, RN, was the keynote speaker and presented on the topic, “Sepsis: Known Knowns, Known Unknowns, Unknown UnKnowns.”

Sigma Theta Tau International (Sigma) is the only honor society for professional nursing and membership is by invitation only. “Students and nursing leaders must meet high standards and strict criteria to be inducted into the society,” stated Gilbert. “For students, only the top one third of the qualifying class is inducted into the society.”

School of Nursing Ranked one of the Top Schools

Georgia Southern University School of Nursing has been ranked No. 49 by as one of the top accredited online nursing degree programs and schools for 2020. 

Hundreds of universities from across the country were evaluated based on factors such as cost, quality and value in an effort to assist potential students learn about schools, degrees and careers. 

The School of Nursing is housed in the Waters College of Health Professions and is fully accredited by the Georgia Board of Nursing and the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education. For more information on nursing programs at Georgia Southern visit

Nursing Faculty Publish Article

School of Nursing assistant professors Joanne Zanetos, DNP, MSN, RN, and Alan Skipper, DNP, APRN, FNP, RN, recently had their article “The Effects of Health Care Policies: LGBTQ Aging Adults” published in the Journal of Gerontological Nursing, a monthly, peer-reviewed journal.

For more than 40 years, clinically relevant articles on the practice of gerontological nursing have been published by the Journal of Gerontological Nursing.

Nursing Students Selected to Present at NCUR

Pictured from left to right: Samuel Lawrence, Katie Furr, Eliana Difuntorum and Cailey Dupree 

Four senior nursing students have been selected to present their research, “Attitudes and Perceptions of Hospital Policies and Appropriateness of Scope of Practice for Pregnant Nurses in the Rural In-Patient Hospital Setting” at the National Conferences on Undergraduate Research (NCUR) this March. The NCUR is one of the national leading undergraduate conferences in the U.S. where student researchers across the nation present their work to peers, faculty and staff.

Katie Furr, Cailey Dupree, Eliana Difuntorum and Samuel Lawrence were chosen from over 4,000 submissions. “The selection of these students’ abstracts demonstrates a unique contribution to their field of study and will provide them with the opportunity to not only present their work, but to also network and connect with prominent leaders in the field,” stated Marian Tabi, Ph.D., MPH, RN, professor and director of program outcomes in the School of Nursing.

Under the direction of Tabi, their research focused on gaining insight into the perception of nursing on the occupational hazards of pregnant nurses in the clinical setting. The question guiding their research was whether there are policies and procedures in place specific to pregnant nurses in the workplace.

“We found that occupational hazards for pregnant nurses included negative attitudes from coworkers, physical abuse from patients, increased stress and physical demands, and an unclear understanding of their facilities’ policies and procedures for pregnant nurses,” stated Furr. “Furthermore, implications of the findings suggest there is a need for hospitals and clinical facilities to create policies and guidelines that reduce occupational hazards to pregnant nurses and their unborn infants.” Furr explained their research showed a need for hospitals to have policies and procedures on safe handling of teratogenic medications, accommodating shift work hours specifically during the third trimester, maximum allowed for heavy lifting, adequate staffing that allows for break periods including lunch, bathroom and pumping. 

“We had no idea that we would become so passionate about our research, but it is so rewarding to be able to gain insight on a topic that is seldom talked about. We are also so grateful for the facilities that allowed us to conduct our research through their employees and for the wonderful opportunity for us to share our knowledge on this topic,” stated Furr.

“There is an enormous amount of evidence that clearly indicates that engaging undergraduate students in research results in transformational experiences,” stated Tabi. “Therefore the benefits for undergraduate students conducting and presenting their research work are numerous. Such engagement can yield an array of greater educational outcomes including cognitive and intellectual growth, professional, and personal growth. In addition, engaging students in undergraduate research highlights the value that such endeavors bring to faculty mentors and the institution.” 

Students are receiving funding from the Georgia Southern University Undergraduate Research office and the Student Government Association to help offset some of the costs to attend the conference.

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