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Torrington Student Named UW’s First Jonas Scholar

July 1, 2014
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University of Wyoming Jonas Scholar Marcella Wildeman.

Improving the relationships between physicians and nurse practitioners is the goal of Marcella (Marci) Wildeman of Torrington, the University of Wyoming Fay W. Whitney School of Nursing’s first Jonas Scholar.

UW received a $10,000 matching grant from the Jonas Center for Nursing and Veterans Healthcare to support a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) student in 2014. The School of Nursing matched the grant. Wildeman joins nearly 600 future nurse educators and leaders at 110 schools supported by Jonas Center programs nationwide.

Wildeman was selected through a competitive written application process that demonstrated her commitment to leadership as an advanced practice nurse, says DNP Program Director Ann Marie Hart. She says Wildeman will be exposed to some of nursing's top leaders and innovative leadership principles.

Education is the key to improving relationships between physicians and nurse practitioners, Wildeman says. She wants to educate medical students and nurse practitioner students about this relationship’s effects on patient care.

A podcast, pamphlet or even on-site lectures are some potential methods to relay essential information, she says.

“The goals would be to establish a new and improved relationship between these professions that fosters mutual respect, collaboration, teamwork and confidence in practices,” Wildeman says. “It is important to teach students these ideals, but it also is important to re-educate practicing providers as well. This education could potentially be provided at conferences, continuing education programs or during workplace orientations.”

She says cultivating this relationship will improve job satisfaction, reduce work-related stressors and ultimately improve patient outcomes.

A registered nurse at Regional West Medical Center in Scottsbluff, Neb., Wildeman previously worked as an emergency medical technician and health unit secretary. She is a board member for the Community Healthcare Foundation that raises money for health care needs in Goshen County.

“I have seen firsthand how coordination of care and teamwork dramatically affects patient care,” she says. “I have learned to value every member of the health care team as we all help to achieve the ultimate goal of providing quality, patient-centered care.”

As a Jonas Center grant recipient, the UW School of Nursing is part of a national effort to stem a national nursing faculty shortage and prepare future nurses as America’s health care system continues to evolve. The Jonas Center is nationally recognized for its commitment to advance nursing scholarship, support innovative clinical practice and develop outstanding nursing faculty.

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