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Nursing student wins national scholarship

January 11, 2013

Emergency room nurse and Loyola University New Orleans Doctor of Nursing Practice student Diana Elwell, R.N., B.S.N., won a national scholarship from the American Nurse Practitioner Foundation Jan. 1 recognizing her outstanding potential for the profession. The $3,500 scholarship, funded in collaboration with the Medic Alert Foundation, will help Elwell fulfill her dreams of becoming a nurse practitioner in the Loyola BSN-to-DNP online nursing program.

As a registered nurse in a busy emergency department at White Plains Hospital, Elwell has witnessed the increased demand for nurse practitioners first hand.

“There is a greater need in the ER for nurse practitioners because we get such a variety of patients coming in ranging from heart attacks and strokes to very minor issues,” she said. “It’s important to have different types of providers who can see different cases and handle different workloads to be able to run the ER efficiently.”

As the nation sees a shift in the number of people using the emergency department for minor issues, this becomes increasingly important.

“Primary care now occurs in emergency departments across the country due to the lack of access to community-based primary care. Our Post-Baccalaureate-to-DNP program prepares the next generation of primary care, family nurse practitioner providers who are imbued with the more comprehensive perspective of integrated behavioral health in primary care systems,” said Ann H. Cary, Ph.D., M.P.H., R.N., professor and director of the Loyola School of Nursing. “As the only program of its kind in Louisiana, our graduates practice with strong primary care and behavioral health systems design perspectives.”

When Elwell becomes a nurse practitioner, she's looking forward to added responsibilities and increased collaboration with a variety of providers, as well as performing advanced assessment techniques and diagnoses.

Elwell chose the three-year Loyola BSN-to-DNP program for its holistic approach to education and because the program, with its targeted pace, really fit her busy schedule and career goals.

“Diana will soon join other graduates as a family nurse practitioner with a D.N.P. degree to offer a unique combination of primary care skills and services in a variety of settings where patient needs are currently overtaking provider resources. Moreover, the terminal D.N.P. degree prepares Diana to lead in the redesigning of health care systems to meet the needs of the 21st century,” said Cynthia R. Collins, Ph.D., A.P.R.N., ANP-BC, associate professor and program coordinator of the Post BSN-DNP program.

The application deadline for the Loyola School of Nursing Post-Baccalaureate-to-DNP or Post-Masters-to-DNP online nursing programs is Feb. 15.

Contact Mikel Pak, associate director of public affairs, at 504-861-5448 for more information.

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Loyola at a Glance is written and distributed for the faculty, staff, students and friends of Loyola University New Orleans. It is published by the Office of Public Affairs, Greenville Hall, Box 909, 7214 St. Charles Avenue, New Orleans, LA 70118. (504) 861-5888.

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