Congratulations to the School of Nursing and Health Studies Spring 2018 Graduates

The School of Nursing and Health Studies would like to congratulate all of our Spring 2018 graduates. We are very proud of your accomplishment and grateful to be a helping hand on your journey to make an indelible impact in local, regional, national, and global healthcare.

This year we graduated 111 Bachelor of Science in Nursing/BSN students, 63 Bachelor of Health Sciences/BHS students, 33 Master of Science in Nursing/MSN students, 1 Graduate Certificate/POST-MSN Certificate student, 35 Doctor of Nursing Practice/DNP students and 2 Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing/PhD students. We are certain that all of your training and hard-work will benefit many!

Rounds with Leadership: Watching the Numbers

Welcome to Rounds with Leadership, a new forum for AACN’s Board Chair and President/CEO to offer commentary on issues and trends impacting academic nursing.


As the national voice for academic nursing, AACN plays a leading role in identifying trends and issues impacting the pipeline into professional nursing programs. For more than 40 years, the association has collected data on enrollment and graduations from baccalaureate and higher degree nursing programs as well as data on nursing deans and faculty. This information is used to inform federal and state legislators, researchers, workforce analysts, and other stakeholders about the health of the nursing student population as well as interest in nursing careers.

The results from AACN’s fall 2017 annual survey are now available and indicate that enrollment in registered nursing (RNs) programs continues to be robust, with two notable exceptions. First, the good news:  From 2016 to 2017, significant increases in enrollment were seen in entry-level baccalaureate (4.3%), master’s (5.2%), and Doctor of Nursing Practice (15.0%) programs. The need to advance the education level of the nursing workforce – a key recommendation in the 2010 Institute of Medicine (IOM) report on the Future of Nursing – is now widely embraced by most nursing organizations and patient advocates interested in moving the profession forward. Nursing schools are answering the IOM’s call, and our great progress is showing.

Now for the less-than-good news:  For the third consecutive year, enrollment in PhD programs decreased, this time by 5.2%.  Meeting the IOM’s recommendation to increase the number of nurses with doctorates will require a strong commitment from academic nursing leaders to bringing more students into research-focused doctoral programs. AACN is in the process of convening leaders in PhD-level education to begin the important work needed to identify strategies to reverse this enrollment trend. AACN will also launch a new marketing campaign to generate stronger interest in the PhD and careers in nursing science and education.

Finally, we were surprised to see a slight dip (down 2%) in the number of students entering RN to Baccalaureate programs, following a 15-year period of steady enrollment growth. Completing a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree is often the first step to meeting employer expectations and positioning RNs for long-term success.  The research highlighted in the IOM report indicates that nurses with BSN and higher education are better equipped to provide quality patient care. Though a one-year decline does not constitute a trend, AACN will continue to monitor enrollment in BSN completion programs as efforts to advance academic progression in nursing move forward across the nation.

Achieving the IOM report’s recommendations related to education advancement will require innovative solutions and collective action among all parties engaged in the development of future generations of nurses. Now is the time for nurse educators, higher education administrators, employers, legislators, and other stakeholders to act boldly and commit to marshalling resources. We must provide opportunities to enable all nurses to take the next step in their education and formation as leaders, able to advocate for and achieve optimal healthcare delivery.

MoCHI: Mindfulness and Chronic Pelvic Pain in Active Duty Women

This year, Carol Crisp, a Ph.D student here at the UMKC School of Nursing and Health Studies, had the opportunity to present her research findings on Mindfulness and Chronic Pelvic Pain in Active Duty Women at the Midwest Nursing Research Society Conference.  The School of Nursing and Health Studies would like to congratulate Carol for a successful presentation. We encourage you to read more about her poster below.

Chronic Pelvic Pain (CPP) is a common pain condition affecting 1 in 4 women. It is also difficult to diagnose and treat, significantly affecting women’s quality of life. It can particularly affect active duty women because of higher expectations of performance, including deployment into combat zones.  Mindfulness based stress reduction (MBSR) is an alternative treatment that focus’ on psycho-behavioral, neuroendocrine, and immune system interactions. Its objective is to help patients grasp the goal of self-regulation for health improvement, and it has been increasingly used for its therapeutic efficacy in an assortment of illnesses that are challenging to treat. Because of the mind-body connection in CPP, improvement in active duty women after MBSR classes will be evaluated not only by their perception of pain and mental state, but also by cytokines and miRNAs, physiological markers of pain and inflammation.

KC HealthTracks Students Advance to International Leadership Competition

KC HealthTracks students, representing area high schools, recently were recognized by the Missouri chapter of the Health Occupations Students of America (HOSA) – Future Health Professionals, and will advance to an international competition.

KC HealthTracks, a grant program at the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Nursing and Health Studies, includes students from 11 high schools in seven districts in the Kansas City area who are interested in future health careers. The HOSA state conference, held at Missouri University of Science and Technology in Rolla, provided leadership development, business meetings, campaigning and election of officers, competitive events and informative workshops. A formal awards program was held featuring the presentation of national awards and installation of newly elected state officers.

The International Leadership Competition will be held June 27 to 30 in Dallas, TX.

“Our KC HealthTracks state-award-winning students are leaders in their schools, in their innovative endeavors and in their utilization of academic supports in the grant,” said Ann Cary, dean of the UMKC School of Nursing and Health Studies and principal investigator of the Kansas City HealthTracks grant. “We know they will compete admirably at the international competition in June. Our entire project team applauds their accomplishments.”

The following KC HealthTracks students received competition recognition:

  • Nargiz Agayeva, North Kansas City High School, first place in Forensic Medicine Team event and qualified for the International Leadership Competition
  • Trinity McGlowen, Oak Park High School, top five in Human Growth and Development Knowledge Test
  • Abby Oyesam, Oak Park High School, second place in Pharmacology Knowledge Test and qualified for the International Leadership Competition
  • Leah Cooper, Emily Kilventon, Alliyah Tripp, Litzy Alvarado-Islas and Jessica Estrada, Van Horn High School, accepted the award for HOSA Happenings Communication and Outstanding HOSA Chapter of the Year. Recognition will be made at the International Leadership Competition

About HOSA

HOSA-Future Health Professionals is a state and international organization for students interested in pursuing and preparing for a career in health and biomedical professions. HOSA is the largest international organization operating in schools for students enrolled in health science and biomedical sciences programs. HOSA’s purpose is to develop leadership and technical competencies through a program of motivation, awareness and recognition, which is an integral part of the instructional program. This student-led organization provides opportunities for students to practice and refine their academic, technical, leadership and teamwork skills to achieve seamless transition from education to careers.  Since 1976, HOSA has served 2.5 million students interested in pursuing careers in health. HOSA is the vital pipeline for the health industry—an industry that is projected to add 5 million jobs between 2012 and 2022, growing faster than jobs across all other sectors.  For more information, visit the Missouri HOSA website.

About KC HealthTracks

UMKC School of Nursing and Health Studies received a five-year workforce diversity grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Minority Health to develop innovative strategies to identify promising students in their first year of high school and provide them with a foundation to pursue successful careers in the health professions. The program seeks to address health disparities among racial and ethnic minorities by supporting networks of institutions focused on and with demonstrated commitment and capacity to establish pipeline programs to increase minority and disadvantaged students’ awareness and pursuit of careers in health care including behavioral health, and to increase the availability of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education programs.

Partners of the grant include KC STEM Alliance, West Central Missouri Area Health Education Center (AHEC), MCCKC Health Science InstituteProject Lead the Way, and Missouri HOSA (Health Occupations Students of America). Independent evaluation of KC HealthTracks will be provided by the Kansas City Area Education Research Consortium.  Eleven high schools from seven school districts participating in KC HealthTracks are Center High School (Center School District); Fort Osage High School (Fort Osage School District); Grandview High School (Grandview School District); Ruskin High School (Hickman Mills School District); Truman High SchoolWilliam Chrisman High School and Van Horn High School (Independence School District); East High School (Kansas City Public Schools); and North Kansas City High SchoolOak Park High School and Winnetonka High School (North Kansas City School District).  For more information, visit the KC HealthTracks website.

Partial funding for KC HealthTracks in the amount of $500,000.00 is provided by the Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Office of Minority Health (grant number: CPIMP151115-03-00) to the University of Missouri Kansas City School of Nursing and Health Sciences.

About the University of Missouri-Kansas City

The University of Missouri-Kansas City, one of four University of Missouri campuses, is a public university serving more than 16,000 undergraduate, graduate and professional students. UMKC engages with the community and economy based on its six-part mission: placing student success at the center; leading in life and health sciences; advancing urban engagement; excelling in visual and performing arts; embracing diversity; and promoting research and economic development. For more information about UMKC, visit You can also find us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, see us on Instagram and watch us on YouTube. Read our students’ stories at #UMKCGoingPlaces.