Monthly Archives: September 2013

Open House Today!

Calling All Healthcare Graduates: Nursing, Health Services Administration, & Community Health

Join us for an open house as part of MSUM’s 125th Anniversary. You are a big part of that history!

Friday, September 27, 2013

Open House with refreshments from 2:30 pm – 4:30 pm
Lommen Hall 108

Meet & Greet honoring Evelyn Quigley (’82), Eva Vraspir Excellence in Nursing Award Winner 2013, at 3:00 pm

Deadline for RN to BSN Program is October 15th


The deadline to apply for the RN to BSN program is approaching.

To view admission criteria, application procedure and more visit:

If you have more questions about our program check out our FAQ video featuring the chair of our department, Barbara Matthees.

World Alzheimer’s Day–September 21, 2013

World Alzheimer’s Day is an opportunity to raise awareness about Alzheimer’s disease and the need for more education, support and research!  Alzheimer’s affects millions of people and families around the world.  This year, Alzheimer associations across the world will focus their activities on the care required by people with dementia throughout the course of the condition.

“As a geriatric Nurse practitioner and the daughter of someone that died from Alzheimer’s, I have experienced firsthand the heartaches of this diagnosis.  The focus of World Alzheimer’s Day gives hope to the millions who have and will have this diagnosis.  That focus includes not only research for treatment and a cure, but also highlights the need for interventions to enhance quality of care and in the end quality of life for this population.” –Vicki Teske, MS, RN, GNP-BC

What is Alzheimer’s?

Alzheimer’s is a type of dementia that causes problems with memory, thinking, and behavior.  Symptoms usually develop slowly and get worse over time, eventually becoming so severe for a person to do daily activities.

Alzheimer’s is currently the sixth leading cause of death in the nation.  There is no cure for Alzheimer’s disease and experts expect that at least 16 million people in the U.S. will have the disease by next year.

Is there a cure?

There is currently no cure for Alzheimer’s, but treatments for symptoms are available and research continues.  Current treatments cannot stop Alzheimer’s from progressing, but they can slow the worsening dementia symptoms and improve their daily life.  There is a worldwide effort to find ways to treat the disease.

Alzheimer's Picture


2013 Tri-College University Graduate & Professional School Information Day

Date: Wednesday September 18, 2013
Time: 11:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Location: Comstock Memorial Union Ballroom, Minnesota State University Moorhead

Have you recently graduated, or are about to graduate and aren’t sure what’s next? If you are thinking about furthering your education, the Tri-College University Graduate and Professional School Information Day is the event for you! This event is designed to provide information on taking the next step of your educational experience.

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The Graduate and Professional School Information Day will help you find a program that best fits your interests and objectives. Information regarding the tests and admittance requirements will be available, all while being able to talk face-face with an expert on the application process.

Minnesota State University Moorhead offers several graduate degrees and certificates. In the School of Nursing & Healthcare Leadership you can obtain a graduate degree in:

To learn more about these programs, please attend the Tri-College University Graduate & Professional School Information Day or contact the School of Nursing & Healthcare Leadership, at or call 218.477.2693.

There will be over 40 universities represented at the information day. Many of the programs are health related. Here are some of the many universities attending the event:

  • The University of Minnesota—School of Medicine
  • Army Healthcare Recruiters
  • Creighton University—Pharmacy, Physical Therapy Occupational Therapy
  • Argosy University—Health Sciences
  • Northwestern Health Sciences University—Chiropractic, Massage Therapy, Acupuncture, Oriental Medicine
  • University of South Dakota—School of Medicine
  • Ross University—School of Medicine
  • University of North Dakota—School of Medicine
  • Pacific University—Athletic Training, Audiology, Occupational Therapy, Pharmacy, Physical Therapy, Physician Assistant
  • North Dakota State University—Pharmacy, Advanced degrees in Nursing, Pharmaceutical Sciences, Public Health
  • University of Wisconsin Stout
  • University of Wisconsin Milwaukee
  • The College of St. Scholastica—PHD Physical Therapy, MS Athletic Training, Exercise Physiology, Occupational Therapy, Physician Assistant

Please contact the Career Development Center, at or call 218.477.2131, for more information.

Importance of the Influenza Vaccine

1.    Why has Sanford decided to institute mandatory influenza immunization for all of its employees this year?

  • Influenza frequently circulates and is spread in health care settings. Employees and healthcare workers are the obvious means by which influenza reaches patients.
  • Influenza immunization in health care workers has been increasingly shown to be an important way to protect our sick and vulnerable patients from contracting influenza.  Several studies have documented decreased mortality rates for patients in some health care settings by more aggressive immunization of the workers who care for them.
  • Experts believe that to protect the most vulnerable around us we must achieve immunization rates greater than 90 percent of the group to stop or interrupt the circulation of the virus.
  • Despite past widespread availability and promotion of the vaccine, health care worker immunization rates have remained mediocre, with typically 60-70 percent of employees complying. Many institutions have gone to mandating vaccination as a condition of employment, and multiple authoritative health organizations have all strongly advocated for mandatory HCW immunization against influenza.

2.    I don’t get sick, why do I need to be immunized?

  • Influenza causes a spectrum of illness that ranges from no symptoms at all to severe respiratory illness. Many people with influenza may only have the symptoms of a cold. This often doesn’t stop them from going to work, but certainly allows them to unwittingly spread the virus. In a study of health care workers at the end of the flu season, laboratory testing showed that about one fourth of them had been infected with influenza that season, yet almost 60 percent could not recall any flu-like illness, and 28 percent could not recall even milder respiratory illness. These people become silent-spreaders of the virus to those around them.
  • Persons with influenza may “shed” the virus to others around them for up to a week.

3.    I don’t believe the vaccine works. I got vaccinated last year, and I still got sick.

  • There are many reasons why someone might still get sick despite immunization. These include: a) exposure to the virus before the vaccine has had a chance to work; b) exposure to a respiratory virus other than influenza which may produce symptoms identical to influenza; c) infection with an influenza virus strain not covered in the vaccine that season; and d) a person did not mount a good immune response to the vaccine.
  • Despite the above limitations, many studies clearly document the benefits of immunization for workers, including nearly cutting in half the number of sick days and doctor’s visits by employees, and almost an 80 percent reduction in laboratory confirmed influenza.

4.   I got the vaccine last year, why do I need to be immunized again?

  • Influenza is not a single virus but rather a family of viruses.
  • Unfortunately, influenza viruses tend to mutate and frequently new versions are circulating each season. The vaccine must therefore be redeveloped each season based on the most recent dominant circulating strains. This requires re-vaccination each year to assure immunity to the current strains.

5.    I’ve heard the vaccine might not be safe. I know someone who got the flu after receiving the vaccination. Also, doesn’t the vaccine contain mercury?

  • People may get sick after the vaccine for many reasons (see #3). Most people are immunized with a vaccine made of killed virus, which cannot possibly cause influenza. Some people do get transient soreness in their arm at the injection site.
  • Not all forms of the vaccine contain mercury. The amount of mercury in a dose of vaccine is approximately 30 times less than that found in a can of tuna. The CDC, NIH, FDA, and three independent scientific bodies have determined this to be completely safe.
  • Influenza vaccines are simply among the safest in the history of vaccination.

6.    I’m pregnant. What if I don’t want to expose my unborn child to the vaccine?

  • The vaccine has been determined to be safe for all stages of pregnancy. In fact, pregnancy is a specific indication for the vaccine since influenza illness during pregnancy can be particularly severe and life-threatening to the mother and unborn child.  You should always check with your physician to see if the vaccine is safe for you.

7.    I’ve gotten sick after receiving the vaccine in the past. Are there medical contraindications to receiving the vaccine?

  • Persons with a documented history of anaphylaxis or hives to eggs in the past may have had difficulty receiving the vaccine. This year, there is a new vaccine that is derived completely egg-free. This will allow anyone with a past egg allergy to now receive influenza immunization.
  • Symptoms such as fever, aches, headache, and a sore arm are rare side effects of the vaccine that are self-limited and have no lasting effect. These problems do not constitute a contraindication to being immunized.
  • Very rarely persons may have a history of severe allergic reactions (i.e. hives, anaphylaxis) to influenza vaccination that is not egg related. This would be a contraindication to receiving the vaccine.

8.    I’ve heard all the arguments for receiving the vaccine but remain unconvinced. What if I have a personal objection to having to be immunized?

  • The weight of evidence and the recommendations of multiple recognized authorities are that all health care workers should be immunized.
  • Some religions proscribe against receiving certain medical care such as immunizations. Those with a seriously held religious objection to immunization would be exempt.

Thank you to Sanford Health for this information!

You can click on the link below to watch a video from Dr. Barbara Matthees our department chair on why the flu vaccine is required for students and why she believes the vaccine is so important.

Applying to MSUM’s Online RN to BSN Program

Deadline coming up October 15th. Get your applications started and in today!


How to Apply for the Online RN to BSN Program at MSUM:


Admission Criteria:

  • Admission to Minnesota State University Moorhead
  • Minimum cumulative college GPA of 2.75
  • Two professional references
  • Essay as directed on the RN to BSN application
  • Active RN license or scheduled to take NCLEX
  • Provisional acceptance will be granted to qualified students who are waiting to take the NCLEX Exam or receive results

Admission Deadlines:

  • Fall semester: March 15th
  • Spring semester: October 15th

Application Procedure:

Post-Admission Requirements:

  • Copy of current…

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Article of the Year Announcement – JPN

The Journal of Psychosocial Nursing and Mental Health Services  (JPN) has recently announced the following published article as the 2013 JPN Article of the Year

Schaumberg, L., Narayan, S., & Wright, T. (2013). Advanced Practice Nurse Psychiatric

Bridging Intervention to Increase Attendance at Initial Psychiatric Evaluations.  Journal of Psychosocial Nursing and Mental Health Services, 51(5), 36-43. doi: 10.3928/02793695-20130320-01.


According to the journal’s Executive Editor, Aileen Wiegand, “we initiated the JPN award for the best-written article of the year, which is chosen by a select editorial committee” (personal communication September 3, 2013).  Dr. Schaumberg will receive the award on behalf of all authors in San Antonio at the October 2013 American Psychiatric Nurses Association Annual Conference.



Dr. Schaumberg, APNP, DNP, is a 2011 Metropolitan State University graduate of the MnSCU Doctor of Nursing Practice Collaborative Program.


Dr. Suzanne Narayan, PhD, RN, is Professor Emeritus at Metropolitan State University, School of Nursing, St. Paul, Minnesota.


Dr. Tracy Wright, RN-BC, PhD, CNE, is a Professor at Minnesota Statue University Moorhead,  School of Nursing and Healthcare Leadership, Moorhead, Minnesota.

World Suicide Prevention Day

September 10th 2013

Suicide Blog Picture

Each year people around the world to light a candle at 8:00pm on September 10th to show support for suicide prevention, to remember a loved one lost to suicide and for the survivors of suicide. The International Association for Suicide Prevention (IASP) and the World Health Organization (WHO) dedicate time each year to raise awareness about suicide.

The Problem

Suicide was the 10th leading cause of death in 2010 and remains a leading cause of death today. Now, according to the ISAP website, “Nearly one million people worldwide die by suicide each year. This corresponds to one death by suicide every 40 seconds.” The number of lives lost to suicide each year also exceeds the number of deaths due to homicide and war put together. These records don’t even include the number of attempted suicides which far exceeds any of the numbers given above.

MSUM’s Involvement
This year Minnesota State University Moorhead’s Wellness Educators are raising awareness about suicide by urging students, faculty and others around campus to wear yellow on September 10th to remember a loved that has passed due to suicide and to support suicide survivors. MSUM will also be having tables set up around campus passing out yellow wristbands to write the name of a loved one on or just “love” on.
A faculty member in our department, Melanie Schicker reflects on the awareness being brought to MSUM, “This is so important, as the numbers are rising in our college age group. We are making strides here on campus to ensure our students are educated regarding prevention.” Melanie is currently raising money for the Out of the Darkness Walk which will be held on September 22nd. She also intends to buy some yellow t-shirts to donate to those that can’t afford to go out and buy one for September 10th.

Seeking Help-National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: Call 1-800-273-TALK (8255) to be connected to a skilled, trained counselor at a crisis center in your area, anytime 24/7


MDH Flusafe Program

Minnesota Department of Health FluSafe Program

According to a news release on August 21, 2013 participation in the Minnesota Department of Health’s FluSafe program is continuing to grow. The goals of the program encompass vaccinating more health care workers against influenza, particularly those working in nursing homes and hospitals. The importance of being vaccinated is high, for patients can contract influenza from unvaccinated employees and suffer from flu-derived complications.

Since the program began in 2010, vaccination coverage rates have nearly doubled from 27 to 55 percent. Blue ribbon winners reached vaccination rates of 90 percent and greater; red ribbon winners reached rates of 80-89 percent; and white ribbon winners reached rates of 70-79 percent. Within Minnesota, 55 health care facilities were blue ribbon winners; 65 earned red ribbons; and 57 won white ribbons.

With current rates of 66.7 percent of vaccinated health care employees, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services imposed a goal in its Healthy People 2020 objectives of vaccinating 90 percent of workers. The director of Infectious Disease Epidemiology Prevention and Control, Kristen Ehresmann, is pleased with the initiatives of the FluSafe program, as well as the increase in vaccination rates over the past three years. However, she believes there is definite room for improvement.

Health care agencies seeking to increase vaccination rates that are also operating under the FluSafe program receive both promotional tools and guidance from the Minnesota Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. These rates are stored in the Minnesota Immunization Information Connection (MIIC), Minnesota’s electronic immunization system.

For more information about the FluSafe program and the most recent list of blue, red, and white ribbon vaccination winners, visit



The 2013-2014 school year is upon us and faculty members here in the department couldn’t be more excited! Check out what Barbara Matthees, chair of the department, has to say about it.

YouTube Channel: MSUMsnhl