Gannon University Nursing Students End the School Year by Giving Back To the Community
Posted: April 13, 2015
Student nurses from Gannon University's Villa Maria School of
Nursing are ending the Spring 2015 Semester with a flurry of
On April 13, 18 student nurses in their senior year will conduct
a health fair at the he John F. Kennedy Center, Inc., a private
nonprofit social service agency at 2021 E. 20th St. The three-hour
event, which will begin at 9 a.m., will be part of the national
Million Hearts initiative to prevent 1 million heart attacks and
strokes by 2017, and is being conducted in collaboration with
LifeWorks Erie. The event will emphasize Million Hearts' "ABCS"
concept: Appropriate aspirin therapy for those who need it, Blood
pressure control, Cholesterol management and Smoking cessation.
Gannon student nurses will provide free blood pressure and blood
sugar screenings, tests for total cholesterol and lipid levels and
advice on increasing awareness of the "ABCS." The event is free and
open to the public.
On April 16, 20 other student nurses will conduct a family
health fair called "A Magical Day with Disney" from 4-7 p.m. at the
John E. Horan Community Center, 730 Tacoma Road. Designed to appeal
to children and their families, the event will feature games,
activities, such as "Be Strong Like Hercules" and "Bon Appetit,"
and prizes, all aimed at promoting a healthy lifestyle.
The event is an outreach effort of the Gannon University Nursing
Center at the John E. Horan Garden Apartments, a joint effort of
the Housing Authority of the City of Erie and the Villa Maria
School of Nursing. The center, established through a grant from the
Helene Fuld Health Trust and supported by an annual grant from the
authority, is now in its 15th year of service. The center's goals
are to improve access to health education, screenings, and
preventive services for the residents of the Horan Apartments while
providing an opportunity for Gannon student nurses to gain
community-based clinical experience.
So far this year, the center has provided more than 700 direct
services and more than 500 referrals to other health and human
service agencies. The services include on-site immunizations,
health screenings, mammograms, health and nutrition education, home
visits or on-site WIC (Women Infants and Children Supplemental Food
Program) services. According to its coordinator, Gannon Assistant
Professor of Nursing Kimberly R. Blount MSN, CRNP, CS, the nursing
center is open every Tuesday and Thursday from 9 a.m.-12 p.m. and
1-3 p.m. All services are provided free of charge.
The events end a busy year for the School of Nursing, which in
December celebrated the first graduates of Gannon University's new
Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program.
The program began in 2013 as a response to the changing role of
nurses in the dynamic healthcare sector of the economy. Open to
advanced-practice registered nurses who hold a Master of Science
degree in nursing (MSN) and are certified in their specialty, the
DNP program is an important step in helping nurses more effectively
influence patient safety and develop best practices for hospitals
and other clinical settings.
Also in December, the Villa Maria School of Nursing was granted
accreditation by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education
(CCNE) of the American Association of Colleges of Nursing. The
10-year accreditation is the maximum time period for which
accreditation is granted.