After almost 40 years in nursing, Glenda Haynie could have made her next career step retirement. Instead, she enrolled in San Jacinto College's Bachelor of Science in Nursing program.
The College's inaugural BSN cohort of 22 students graduated this summer. They celebrated with a capstone project presentation and completion ceremony July 27.
Judged by doctoral-prepared nurses, Haynie's presentation, "Surgical Site Infections in Cesarean Sections," won first place.
Haynie works in a hospital labor and delivery suite that saw a rise in infections after C-sections last fall. For her BSN capstone project, she helped assemble a task force, research, and create an action plan to educate staff and mothers on infection prevention before and after these scheduled or emergency deliveries.
Thanks to the task force, the suite has been free of surgical site infections for almost three months, as of July 19. Based on judges' feedback, Haynie is even reconsidering her previous plan to pursue school nursing at private institutions.
"One of the recommendations I had was to do home health with our high-risk pregnancy mamas to make sure these C-sections are being healed," she said. "I think I'm going to go back to work and recommend that. And if it's something they want to implement, maybe I can just step into that program."
Second place for capstone presentations went to Abimbola Ogunleye for her project "The Efficiency of Yoga in Maintaining Mental Health Wellbeing," and third place to Araceli Herrejon for "Stroke Awareness in Adults 50 Years and Older: A Systemic Review."
Launched in fall 2020 at the Central Campus, San Jac's BSN program is a cost-effective, convenient pathway for registered nurses to take the next step in their career. Not only do more employers seek BSN-prepared nurses, but the COVID-19 era requires nurses with advanced training and leadership skills.
The one-year program includes both online and face-to-face learning opportunities and accommodates working RNs' busy schedules. Students focus on health care trends, community health nursing, public/global health policy, legal/ethical considerations, leadership, and other advanced topics. [Update: As of fall 2023, the BSN program is completely online.]
The second cohort begins in fall 2021. Dr. Edward Nichols, BSN nursing professor, is teaching all the classes.
"The students in this inaugural cohort demonstrated the ability to manage a career while completing the RN-to-BSN program with excellence," Nichols said. "Their outstanding capstone project presentations were evidence of their success."
Dr. Rhonda Bell, Central Campus dean of health and natural sciences, helped develop the BSN program. In a year that challenged everyone, she said this first cohort showed resiliency and leadership.
"I was privileged to see their first presentation in semester one followed by their capstone poster presentation in the final semester," Bell said. "The professionalism and growth as baccalaureate-prepared nurses was noticeable, and they exemplified the profession of nursing. They made me San Jac proud!"
Haynie credits family support and her four BSN teammates with helping her reach the finish line.
"Nursing is teamwork," she said. "It's exactly what got us through [the BSN program]. I recommend it to anyone. I have thoroughly enjoyed it and learned a lot from it."
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