Millikin University - Decatur, IL
Spring Newsletter
NAP News
The first cohort of the Millikin University and Decatur Memorial Hospital completed the joint nurse anesthesia program in December 2013. One of the members of the cohort, Tiffany Kloeppel, was a speaker during the Millikin University graduation ceremony.  Her presentation honored her grandmother who would have been proud of Tiffany’s accomplishments. Ten of the eleven members of the cohort have successfully passed the National Certification Examination and have accepted employment. It is a pleasure to have them join the nurse anesthesia profession.

As part of The Millikin University School of Nursing Graduation Celebration also held in December, awards specific to the nurse anesthesia students were announced. The Ethel Lebkeucher Award for Clinical Excellence was awarded to Mary Wendt. The Betty Horton Leadership Award was awarded to Amanda Berger who also served as the program school representative to the Illinois Association of Nurse Anesthetists for the term of 2012-2013. Lisa Bernard earned the Macon County Medical Alliance Award for Academic Excellence. In October 2013, Wendy Carlson was selected by faculty and peers to received the Robert F. Waldvogel, MD, Student Excellence & Clinical Mastery Award. 

The junior Registered Nurse Anesthesia Interns (RNAIs) advanced to senior standing in January 2014. Rotation to affiliate institutions began in March. The clinical experiences obtained during rotation to our affiliate institutions provide the students with an abundance of rich anesthesia encounters. The Senior RNAIs are working on their MSN projects and studying for comprehensive examinations. In February, Hannah Sons was awarded the Carolyn Maroney Memorial Scholarship.

The newest cohort, the first Doctorate of Nursing Practice class, began studies in January. The thirteen RNAIs are becoming acclimated to graduate study and researching topics for the DNP project requirements. They will begin clinical observation as a requirement for the Roles and Responsibilities of Nurse Anesthesia course. We welcome them and look forward to sharing their educational journey.  

Submitted by:
Rhonda Gee, CRNA, DNSc
CRNA Program Director
The Millikin University and Decatur Memorial Hospital Nurse Anesthesia Program

Student Nurse Political Action Day (SNPAD)
On April 1, 2014, student nurses across Illinois were invited by the ANA Illinois, to participate in the Student Nurse Political Action Day (SNPAD) in downtown Springfield.  Millikin University was well represented by the nursing students from NU400-Parent-Child Nursing and NU410-Mental Health Nursing.

ANA Illinois invited the students to participate in a poster contest with the theme of “NURSING in 2020”.  The poster of two of our Millikin students, Audrey Krajek and Danielle Biddle, tied for 1st place. The winning posters and the student’s pictures will be published in the “Nursing Voice”.

The students had the opportunity to attend a workshop to learn about some of the health related bills that are currently being considered by the Illinois General Assembly. They were instructed on how to identify and contact their state Senator and Representative for their district. That afternoon, the students had the opportunity to march down to the Capital and meet with their Senator and/or their Representative if they chose to speak to them.

Submitted by:
Vicki L. Caldwell MSN, RN
NU400 Nursing Instructor 
Millikin University


Dr. Karla Luxner, Professor Vicki Caldwell          

Nursing Students Courtney Gerk and Amanda Meeker

Community Advisory Group Luncheon
Millikin School of Nursing faculty met with Community groups on April 2, 2014 for a luncheon and discussion of various issues affecting nursing and nursing students today.

Discussion included issues such as the Affordable Care Act and its implication for future nursing practice, individual facility changes and ideas about what would help Millikin better prepare nursing students for workplace and community competencies.

Community members present included Tanya Andricks, Community Health Improvement Center;
Terri Luckenbill, Coordinator of School Health, District 61; Cecilia Wendler, Memorial Medical Center;
Jennifer Cullen, St. John’s Hospital; Gail Fyke, Decatur Memorial Hospital; Sharon Norris, Decatur Memorial Hospital; Sue Kiefer-Griffin, Decatur Memorial Hospital; Shelly Baldwin, Richland Community College; Ellen Colbeck, Richland Community College.

Changes in Faculty at Millkin 2014

Coming on board
Professor Gina Canny, a Nurse Educator graduate of Millikin, comes from Benedictine University in Springfield, Illinois.
Professor Julie Kennedy will become a faculty member and is completing her doctorate in nursing at Illinois State University.  
Dr. Marcena Gabrielson will join the Millikin faculty. Dr. Gabrielson comes to us from Illinois State University.

Welcome, we look forward to working with all of you. 

Dr. Deb Jenkins, undergraduate program, is leaving Millikin and will relocate Southern Illinois University  (SIU) Edwardsville School of Nursing. 
Dr. Marilyn Prasun, graduate program chair, is also leaving. She will continue her work with the Heart Failure Clinic and is President- Elect of the American Association of Heart Failure Nurses.  

We wish both all the best in their future endeavors. 

Dr. Kathy Booker is returning to the MU Nursing Faculty and will teach in the graduate and undergraduate programs. 
Dr. Pamela Lindsey has been appointed as the new Director of the School of Nursing at Millikin.  
Dr. Karla Luxner has been appointed to the new position of Associate Director of the School of Nursing.

All the best to those in these new positions. 

Left to right: Dr. Kathy Booker, Dr. Pam Lindsey, Dr. Karla Luxner

Graduate Project Presentations for 2014
Andrew Bokus – Parianesthesia Care of Performing Nausea and Vomiting for Orthopedic Patients
Jessica Crosby – Student Registered Nurses Anesthetists’ Perceptions of Facilitators, Barriers and Values of the Graduate Nursing Scholarly Project
Lisa Cross – Over 10 Years Later:  CRNA Awareness and Experience with perioperative DNR Orders
Kyle Floyd – Differences in Dosages of Midazolam and Fentanyl among Smokers Undergoing Colonoscopy
Renee Harrison – CRNA Pain Management on the Post-Operative Cardiac Surgical Patient
Katie Kok – Patient Education and Anticoagulation Therapy in a Cardiac Population
Todd LaDage – Barriers and Facilitators to Electronic Medical Record Documentation for the Anesthesia Provider
Todd Langellier – Evidence Based Practice of Fire Safety in the Operating Room
Heidi Phillips – Attitudes of Nurse Anesthetists Regarding Cost-Effective Care
Whitney Ropp – Anesthesia Handoff to Post Anesthesia Care Providers:  An Integrated Literature Review
Hannah Sons – Perceived Health-Promoting Lifestyles and Stress Coping Strategies of Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists
Tiffany Stork – Complications related to Anesthesia in Total Joint Replacement Patients with a BMI Greater than 25
Rachel Thorstenson – The Efficacy of Hypnosis to Decrease the Incidence of Anxiety, Post-Operative Pain and Nausea in Surgical Patients:  A systematic Literature Review
Shawna Waterstradt – An Analysis of the Standards for accessing Implanted Central Venous Access Devices
Miranda Watson – A Nested Population Control Study for Macon County, IL and the Occurrence of Stage IV Colorectal Cancer

Miranda Watson center with Dr. Mary Jane Linton and Dr. Marilyn Presun following her project presentation following her presentation, A Nested Population Control Study for Macon County, IL and the Occurrence of Stage IV Colorectal Cancer


Katie Kok during her presentation, Patient Education and Anticoagulation Therapy in a Cardiac Population

Whitney Ropp –  Whitney received first place for her poster presentation: Anesthesia Handoff to Post Anesthesia Care Providers:  An Integrated Literature Review

BSN Curriculum Change
2 new elective courses are being offered for last semester senior nursing students starting in Fall 2014.  The Senior Simulation Experience course will connect theory to practice by providing the student with simulation experiences in a risk-free environment in order to build self-confidence and prepare the student for entrance into professional nursing practice.  Simulation sessions will include a variety of opportunities, including, but not limited to: practice taking and implementing physician orders, prioritizing care, giving hand-off/change-of-shift report, administering high-risk medications, initiating nursing care protocols, and attending to the psychosocial needs of the patient and family.  This course will be limited to 12 students.

The Professional Nursing Capstone course provides student nurses with experiential learning to help build the knowledge, skills, and attitudes essential for the delivery of safe, effective, care. The clinical immersion offers opportunities for providing continuity of care, managing transitional care, and delegation of care in the clinical setting.  Students will be able to select placement from a wide variety of practice settings, allowing students to obtain a realistic work experience in a specified area of interest.  Students will be able to develop mentor relationships with experienced professional nurses to engage in critical thinking, operationalize the nursing process, and develop their professional role as they work along with a preceptor providing care to a typical caseload.

Submitted by:
Professor Charlotte Bivens

Homecoming 2014
The School of Nursing will sponsor a brunch on Saturday, October 11 from 9-10:30 in LTSC 124. Student/faculty scholarly posters will be on display on the first floor hallways in LTSC. At 10:30 am, our distinguished alumna, Julie Standerfer, MU BSN class of 1986, will present on her career path and current work in the field of Nursing. Julie received her Master of Science in Nursing degree from the University of Illinois, Urbana, in 1986 and is currently employed by  eHealth Data Solutions as an Education and Support Specialist and Clinical Coordinator. Julie worked for ten years for the Illinois Health Care Association in Springfield and developed the current reimbursement system for Illinois long term care facilities in collaboration with the Illinois Department of Public Health and the Illinois Public Aid Department. Her many contributions to geriatric health care have produced sustained effects in Illinois. Julie's presentation will be held in LTSC 115. This event is hosted by the School of Nursing Student Involvement and Acheivement Committee chaired by Professor Jamie Nickell ( For more information, please contact Lori Gilbert, Administrative Assistant, 424-5024.

Millikin University - Decatur, IL
Millikin University - Decatur, IL