School of Nursing
Waters College of Health Professions


Nursing Faculty Awarded Grant

Georgia Southern University Associate Professor of Nursing Debra Hagerty, DNP, was awarded a grant for $7,100 to support student training in the care of older adults who may have sensory deprivations such as arthritis, visual impairments or gait disturbances.

Hagerty will use the grant money, which was awarded by the Georgia Health Foundation, to purchase simulation material for use in the School of Nursing’s hospital simulation lab and classrooms on the Armstrong Campus.

Sensory deprivation training will allow nursing and health professions students to experience the same physical deficits and mobility difficulties that affect older adults with chronic medical conditions.

“We realize there is no better way to teach empathy and caring than to immerse individuals in similar experiences and situations,” said Hagerty. “Nursing students, as well as other health professions students, will benefit immensely by having the opportunity to experience many of the chronic conditions and deficits that beset aging seniors. I want to demonstrate to students what challenges they may face when caring for baby boomers as they age and conditions like visual impairment, stroke, arthritis or dementia become more prevalent.”

The training will be offered as part of a nursing leadership course, the Institute for Healthcare Improvement student group and incorporated into additional opportunities for other health professionals to learn and collaborate.

RN-BSN Program Receives National Rankings

Georgia Southern University’s online RN-BSN program has been nationally ranked No. 24 for Most Affordable Online RN to BSN Programs and No. 5 for Fastest Online RN to BSN Programs for 2020. analyzed more than 500 universities with online RN-BSN programs and based their rankings factors, such as the university’s academic reputation, student completions, average debt and earnings, and program costs. 

Georgia Southern’s RN-BSN program is housed in the School of Nursing and was developed for registered nurses prepared with an associate degree to upgrade their RN credentials with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree.

“The flexibility built into the program of study allows students to complete the program at a pace that is comfortable for them. The program can be completed in two semesters, which is one of the fastest in the nation,” stated Sheri Carey, DNP, APRN, PCNS-BC, program director. “Most students choose to complete the program in three to four semesters.” The program consists of eight online courses that provide nurses with more advanced training to better care for patients.

“As a program within a University System of Georgia, tuition is significantly less than the tuition at a proprietary/for profit school. The program chooses books that can be used for more than one course and some books are available through an electronic course reserve in the library, which helps with the affordability of the program. The only fee students in the program pay is for liability insurance, which they purchase through the university at a discounted rate.”

For more information on the RN to BSN program, visit

The Baccalaureate degree program in nursing/master’s degree program in nursing/Doctor of Nursing Practice program and/or post-graduate APRN certificate program at Georgia Southern University is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (

Georgia Southern Undergraduate Nursing Students Awarded Rockin’ Out Alzheimer’s Disease Foundation Scholarships

Four undergraduate nursing students at Georgia Southern University were each awarded a $2,500 Rockin’ Out Alzheimer’s Disease (ROAD) Foundation scholarship to assist with academic expenses, including tuition, fees and books, among other items. 

“The scholarships provide significant financial support,” said Melissa Garno, Ed.D, associate chair of the School of Nursing. “Nursing programs are inherently expensive with costly books, uniforms, lab and liability fees, and commuting expenses. In addition, the rigor of the nursing program often requires students who have jobs to reduce their work hours to devote to studies and clinicals.” Read full story.

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 • Georgia Southern University