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Rush University College of Nursing Degree Granting Programs

With the support of the NCCAM educational initiative, Rush University College of Nursing has integrated CAM content into two of its degree granting programs.

Prelicensure Programs:  Prelicensure students have been exposed to CAM content in a number of required courses (e.g. health assessment, community health nursing, nursing foundations, pharmacology, nutrition, and research) by way of web-based modules. A set of competencies had guided the development of CAM educational materials.

Graduate Programs:  Students enrolled in the generalist entry MSN program as well as in the advanced specialty practice MSN program across all areas of concentration, are exposed to CAM-related didactic content in a number of their courses (e.g. research, physical diagnosis, and pharmacology).  Those in the advanced specialty practice MSN program also are required to complete two self-directed case-based CAM modules as a component of their specialty clinical management courses (family nurse practitioner, adult patient management, anesthesia nursing, primary care of the child, and community health assessment/planning and implementation/evaluation). A set of competencies has guided the development of CAM educational materials. Much of the CAM content has been integrated into required courses by way of web-based modules.  To further promote students’ ability to apply and synthesize CAM content when caring for patients, CAM objectives were added to clinical practica syllabi across master’s programs. 

Continuing Education Programs

With support of the NCCAM educational initiative, Rush University College of Nursing implemented a two-pronged CAM education program.  One aim was to integrate information on CAM therapies, largely via web-based CAM education modules, into the nursing degree granting programs.  A second aim was to develop and implement CAM continuing education (CE) programs for nurses and other health care providers.  These CE efforts included CAM web-based education programs; on-site CAM education conferences; pre-conference workshops at national nursing education meetings; and a noon-time CAM education series on campus. 

CAM Web-Based Education Programs:  Web-based educational modules were developed as a mechanism of integrating CAM content into required courses within the Rush University College of Nursing.  These modules were subsequently modified and, in conjunction with Nursing Spectrum, are being offered for nursing continuing education credits.  Modules focus on either foundational/didactic materials or have a case-based clinical practice emphasis. 

CAM Education Conferences:  Two day-long continuing education conferences were offered at Rush University Medical Center.  On November 1, 2002, we hosted a conference entitled “Winds of Change: Integrating Complementary and Alternative Medicine Content into Management of Immune Disorders.”  The keynote speaker was Donald Novey, MD, Medical Director of the Center for Complementary Medicine at Advocate Lutheran General Hospital in Park Ridge, and author of the book, “The Clinicians Complete Reference to Complementary and Alternative Medicine.”  On February 20, 2004, we hosted a conference entitled “New Migrations: Complementary and Alternative Approaches to Women’s Health.”  The keynote speaker was Tieraona Low Dog, MD, Director of Education for the Program in Integrative Medicine at the University of Arizona, Clinical Assistant Professor in the Department of Medicine, and a Clinical Lecturer for the University of Arizona College of Pharmacy.  She is author of numerous books and articles on integrative approaches to women’s health.

Pre-Conference Workshops: Dr. Janice Zeller, together with Drs. Margaret Heitkemper and Jane Cornman (University of Washington), and Mary Jo Kreitzer (University of Minnesota) presented pre-conference workshops on approaches to integrating CAM content into nursing educational programs at two national meetings.  These were the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) Baccalaureate Education Conference, November 11, 2004; and the AACN Masters Education Conference, February 26, 2005.

CAM Education Series:  A noontime educational program has been offered on campus since January 2003, featuring local experts on CAM-related topics.  These programs have included: “Acupuncture: The Point, The Points, and Some Pointers,” John Kerchberger, MD; “Introduction to Chiropractic,” Patrick Downey, DC; “Aromatherapy,” Alan Hirsch, MD; “Native American Healing Practices;” Geralidine Shangreax, BA, PA, and Julia Brown Wolf, BA; “ and “Peaches and Herbs: What Clinicians Need to Know About Dietary Supplements and Botanicals,“ Barbara Swanson, PhD, RN.


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