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UW School of Nursing Presents Community Partner Awards

November 3, 2011
Three women
Snowy Range Vision Center Optometrist Sue Lowe guides UW nursing student Laura Evans of Girdwood, Ark., (left) as she observes the eye health of Nurse Practitioner Program Coordinator Ann Marie Hart.

The University of Wyoming Fay W. Whitney School of Nursing named three clinical agencies as community partners.

The school's "Community Partner" awards recognize clinical agencies that work together with the college to educate the next generation of nurses. This fall the awards were presented to an agency that has worked closely with the Basic B.S.N. program (Laramie's Ivinson Memorial Hospital); one involved with the Bachelors Reach for Accelerated Nursing Degree (BRAND) program (Wyoming Life Resource Center in Lander); and a business that plays a key role in training graduate nurse practitioner students (Snowy Range Vision Center in Laramie).

Ivinson Memorial Hospital (IMH) was named the "Community Partner of the Year" of 2011.

"The nursing administration and staff always welcome our students and faculty," says Susan Steiner, School of Nursing associate dean for clinical and community affairs. "Their positive attitude supports the learning environment and is appreciated by our students."

IMH nurses enthusiastically share their expertise and serve as role models to UW students. Steiner says the students consistently rate their IMH clinical experiences as positive.

"Our partnership with IMH is one of the keys to our success as a school of nursing," she says. "We look forward to many more years of partnership."

The Snowy Range Vision Center was named the "Graduate Program Community Partner" for 2011.

For more than 20 years, Snowy Range Vision Center optometrists have partnered with UW's Nurse Practitioner (NP) Program to develop student knowledge and skills about visual health. From helping students understand the relationship between vision and overall health to the diagnosis and management of common eye problems, Sue Lowe and her colleagues have consistently given UW students excellent training and on-the-job experience.

"The doctors at Snowy Range Vision Center work closely with each student to ensure that all are able to perform basic screening exams, as well as ophthalmoscopy or examination of the back of the eye," Steiner says. "They also provide one-on-one guidance to students who would like more experience with particular assessment techniques."

The Wyoming Life Resource Center was named the "BRAND Community Partner" of 2011. Student comments confirm the center an effective clinical site for the UW BRAND accelerated program.

Among students' comments about the program:

"All the nurses are noticeably invested in our learning experiences and are very helpful and encouraging. We've observed water therapy, horse therapy, met with physical therapists and have experienced what it is like to use an electrical wheel chair. Unique and beneficial experiences abound!"

"This (experience) provided a huge boost in my nursing self-confidence."

"I am so impressed with the professionalism and caring attitude of the staff toward the patients and the amazing competence displayed towards the patients. (This experience) renewed my belief in the positive wonders and good of nursing."

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