Making Strides in Nursing Education Despite the Pandemic!

Making Strides in Nursing Education Despite the Pandemic!

Written by Malisa D. Eades, MSN, RN, Assistant Professor
Fairmont State University

Published: May 2022

As an Assistant Professor, I actively participate in the Campus Mental Health Grant and the Milan Puskar‒Caring for Our Neighbors‒Homeless Population Grant. In addition, with the assistance of Caitlyn Lampinen, the Program Coordinator of Accreditation in the College of Nursing, I was able to apply for and be the recipient of the Fairmont State University Mini Falcon Grant, Innovating Nursing Education through Technology. After receiving a MSN in nursing education, I accepted a position as the Project Director of the Caring for Our Neighbors homeless grant. With the ever-growing opportunities for nurses, I have the pleasure of presenting at the upcoming Nursing Education Accreditation Conference with the Fairmont State University’s Dean of the College of Nursing/Project Advisor, Laura H. Clayton, PhD, RN, CNE.

Speaking at the accreditation conference is one of the most exciting opportunities to showcase how the College of Nursing cares for the homeless population by presenting Caring for Our Neighbors: the Homeless Population during a Pandemic. When the presence of COVID-19 darkened the world, the College of Nursing showed a light, soared above adversity, and made a mark on the lives of the homeless population and our nursing students. Smiljanic (2022) lists several vital facts about homelessness: an estimate of 13,000 homeless individuals die in the United States every year due to significant health risks; 17 individuals out of 10,000 experience a form of homelessness every day, and that on one given night, over 500,000 Americans are homeless with 65% in shelters while the other 35% are on the streets. The loss of one life is one too many. Therefore, it is pertinent to engage in conversation on ways that we have assisted and can continue to assist the underserved population.

The presentation is an exciting time to share with colleagues the fantastic opportunity to help the community. We’ll discuss the positive feedback from the community, including those of the homeless population, the students, and those who partnered in donating time and services. We will also explore the evolution of the student through the engagement of self-awareness, cultural preparedness, and self-reflection. The experiences and positive outcomes of both the underserved population and the students are validations of the continuing efforts of healthcare to promote access to healthcare and health education. The best part of the presentation involves collaborating with our nursing colleagues. We will engage in a question and answer session, share feedback and experiences, and share innovative ideas on sustaining this project through the curriculum.

If you are a nurse administrator, a nurse educator, or a graduate nursing student, this presentation is for you. The ACEN is a leader in supporting and fostering an elevation of quality in nursing education at all levels. The expectation is to benefit the students, faculty, and community. In line with these goals, the Caring for Our Neighbors presentation will help nurses who answer the call to provide healthcare to all, including those underserved.

Author Information

Malisa D. Eades Headshot

Malisa D. Eades, MSN, RN, is titled as an Assistant Professor at Fairmont State University and graduated from the university with an ADN (2013) and a BSN (2014). In April 2021, she enrolled in an MSN program with a focus in nursing education at Capella University, then completed the program and received her MSN in March 2022.