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December - Abington Memorial Hospital Dixon School of Nursing

Important Dates in December
Clinical Weekend
Saturday, 12/6
Sunday, 12/7
Term II Begins—Day Option
Monday, 12/1
Admissions Information Session
Monday, 12/1
West Conference Room
Day Class Meetings
Tuesday, 12/2
Day SNAP Meeting
Wednesday, 12/3
E/W Class Meetings
Thursday, 12/4
Finals Week—E/W Option
Tuesday, 12/16
Thursday, 12/18
Tuesday, 12/16
Term Break—School Closed
Monday, 12/22—Friday, 1/2
Thursday, 12/25
Friday, 12/26
Evening/Weekend Option Students Volunteer at Gift of Life
- Megan Tondi, E/W 2015
On Sunday, November 2nd, three Evening/
Weekend Class of 2015 students prepared,
delivered, and served a meal to the patients
and families at the Gift of Life House. The Gift
of Life House offers a home away from home
for the families of transplant patients receiving
medical treatment at one of the Philadelphia
transplant centers. The house offers a volunteer program called Home Cook Heroes which
provides a much needed support service to
families who often don't have the time, resources, or energy to prepare a healthy, home
-cooked meal. E/W 2015 students Genevieve
Brennan, Lyndsey Farmer, and Megan
Left to right: Jenavieve, Megan Tondi, Genevieve Brennan, Lyndsey
Tondi along with Lyndsey's two little girls,
Farmer, Jordan.
Jenavieve and Jordan, made a Mexican dinner for the house guests, including tacos, rice, beans, cornbread and lots of yummy desserts! The families
at the house were very appreciative of the meal. These students are planning another event for the spring
and would love for more volunteers to join them!
Day Option Students Hold
Fundraiser for Autism
On Wednesday, November 19th, Day
Option 2015 students held a fundraiser
at Panera Bread in Willow Grove. A
percentage of customer purchases at
Panera Bread that night went towards the class charity
for autism awareness. The students raised $340 from
customer receipts and the sale of autism awareness
badges. Great job!
Photo, Left to right: Amy Yeager, Lindsey Urban, Paige
Kroschwitz, Michael Rusch
Evening/Weekend Clothing Drive a Success
During the month of November, the Evening/Weekend Class of 2015 held a clothing drive. For every pound
of clothing donated the class raised money for charity. The class collected over 2,000 pounds of clothing,
raising $466 dollars total. Great work and thank you to all who donated!
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Vital Signs
Dedicated to Quality of Life at the End of Life
Earning bachelor’s degree in nursing a game changer in patient care
- Regina Broscius, Marketing Strategy Specialist/Writer, Penn State Abington
The cool, soothing atmosphere
where Donna O’Neill, AMH Dixon
School of Nursing Graduate, Day
Class of 2009, spends her evenings
belies the struggles happening in
the inpatient hospice unit at Holy
Redeemer Hospital. She works as a
registered nurse, but she is so much
more - protector, liaison, gatekeeper, and shoulder to cry on for
families and for patients on their final journey.
Statement on Credentials (BSN vs. BS)
The credentials (BSN and BS in Nursing) are the same-- the institution determines what credentials are given.
BS with Major in Nursing versus BSN
The BS with a major in nursing is an academic degree
The BS in Nursing (BSN) is a professional degree.
"I have the privilege of working with patients to help them maintain dignity, comfort,
and quality of life," O'Neill said. “My promise to my patients is to honor their uniqueness and worth, to treat them as a whole person, to be open and honest with families, and to understand the awesome responsibility in my hands.”
During the last few years, O’Neill experienced a genuine game changer in patient
care and in her career. While taking coursework to earn her R.N. to B.S. degree at
Penn State Abington, she was challenged to develop an educational piece for
nurses exploring the differences between curative, palliative, and hospice care.
“I widened my focus to a greater emphasis on palliative and hospice within care for
patients with life-limiting diseases,” she said. “They are not just options for the terminally ill when nothing else can be done. They need to be integrated throughout the
continuum of care for those entering
the final phase of a predictable progressive terminal illness.”
“This care best reflects an individual
patient's needs and goals, allowing
us to treat the patient holistically,”
O’Neill continued.
The brochure she created advocating
this Philosophy has been adopted for
use throughout Holy Redeemer Hospital. And it was just one of her achievements
while enrolled at Penn State Abington that resulted in her selection as a student
marshal, a prestigious and sought-after honor, at the Penn State College of Nursing
commencement ceremony on Dec. 20.
"My education at Penn State Abington led me to ask questions, think differently, and
pulled me toward research so I can change the care we give for the better," she
said. "I was able to unite my education with real world experiences. It brought the
classroom to life.”
O’Neill singled out Penn State Abington and its RN to BS coordinator, Brenda Holtzer, as “strong, vibrant forces for good in the community.”
“Brenda understands lifelong learning is essential in healthcare,” O’Neill, the mother
of four, said. “I have learned skills that allow me to continually improve the care I
provide my patients through evidence-based practice and research.”
For more information on the RN to BS program at Penn State Abington, go to http://
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Vital Signs
Educational Preparation:
Basically the BS with a Major in Nursing versus a BSN
designation is determined by the institution presenting
the degree. The two degrees are equivalent in nursing
requirements and may differ a bit in the general education requirements.
The courses offered in BS degree with a major in nursing
include general education courses that will be more
broad in nature than those offered in a BSN. For example, courses in BS include communications, natural sciences, math, chemistry, algebra, and biology (science
foundation) and a specialization (major) in nursing. The
courses offered in the BSN provide student with basic
foundation in science while focusing on nursing as a
Both the BS with major in Nursing and BSN have common nursing courses (specialization) that prepares the
student to sit for the NCLEX and for entry into nursing
practice. Also, either degree allows the individual to pursue graduate education.
-Dr. Raymonde Brown, Associate Dean for Nursing,
Penn State University
The School of Nursing at Penn State University has full
accreditation from the American Association of Colleges
of Nursing, Credentialing Center for Nursing Education
(AACN-CCNE), and the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC).
The Learning Center at Penn State Abington
Room 315 Sutherland
Free drop-in tutoring is available at The Learning
Center at Penn State Abington. Monday through
Friday 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
A DSON Alumni’s Journey in Nursing
- Amanda Gillio, RN, Class of 2014
My journey after high school began with knowing that I wanted to
become a registered nurse. I chose Abington Memorial Hospital Dixon
School of Nursing because my sister was currently enrolled in the program and highly recommended this School. As I conducted further research, I continued to find that Abington Memorial Hospital Dixon
School of Nursing had very high rates of passing the NCLEX on the first
time and high amounts of clinical hours, which was extremely important
to me. I found the required prerequisite courses on the website and
then discovered that I only needed two of the major sciences completed
before I applied.
During this period the application deadline for nursing school was
January 15th, 2012. While I was taking the aforementioned two classes,
I also took Intro to Psychology, Intro to Sociology, and English Composition 1. It was important to place well on the admission tests because I
was fortunate to get a high enough score to start at English Composition 1 class. If I had not scored high enough then I
would have had to take additional prerequisites to build my way up to Composition 1, which would have required additional time. The rest of my application was sent in prior to the end of the fall semester and all I was waiting on was my
final grade in Human Anatomy and Psychology 1 to personally deliver my official transcript so it would make the deadline date. I then waited and about week later received a call for my interview with Abington Memorial Hospital Dixon
School of Nursing. I was currently enrolled during Spring of 2012 in the rest of the prerequisite courses, which included: Microbiology, Human Anatomy and Psychology 2, Nutrition and Developmental Psychology. Abington Memorial Hospital Dixon School of Nursing was aware that I was enrolled in the rest of the courses and accepted me in to its
program in February 2012 based upon completion of these courses.
I was also told that in addition to the prerequisite courses I would need to complete Statistics by the beginning of
my second year at Dixon. I decided it would be best to finish that class right away and completed that course in summer 2012 before entering Dixon. I started Dixon August 2012 and successfully completed my first year. Then in the
summer 2013 of the following years I started thinking about what courses I needed to complete to receive my BSN. I
continued to take World Religion, English Composition 2 and Art that summer at Bucks County Community College. At
this point I only had the prerequisite courses required of Dixon, so I still needed an additional courses for Penn State.
Then I started back at Dixon in fall 2013. I then took a Public Speaking course online at Bucks County Community
College over winter break. Following this, spring semester 2014 started again and I was still going to Dixon and taking
Ethics and Abnormal Psychology at Bucks County Community College. After completing all these courses I finally
graduated at Dixon June 2014. I did not take any classes over the summer to focus all my attention on passing the
NCLEX and starting to work as a registered nurse. Currently I have completed nursing school in 2 years after my prerequisites and I am about to start the accelerated RN-BS program, which will only take another semester. Penn State
Abington now has a requirement that you need 36 Penn State credits to graduate with a Penn State degree. Therefore
I have all the Arts, Humanities and Electives completed but still only have 31 credits at Penn State since I took all
those classes at community college. Now in the fall 2014, I am taking all the nursing BS in Nursing courses plus a 3
credit Finite Math course and 2 Independent Studies to total the 36 credits I need to graduate this December 2014.
In addition, I heard about a great program at Temple University. Temple University is one of the only few schools
in the region that offer a BSN-DNP program. I found out that as long as I had all the requirements for the school by
October 15, 2014 then I could send my final Penn State BSN transcripts at the end of the semester and hopefully be
accepted to start the DNP program Spring 2015. After long nights of working on my resume and application letter I
made sure that Temple had all my transcripts from Bucks County Community College, Abington Memorial Hospital
Dixon School of Nursing, Penn State Abington and confirmed that my two professional letters of recommendations
were safely at Temple. I then received an invitation to meet with the Dean and Director of the DNP program in front of
a panel of faculty for my interview. On October 29. 2014 I received my acceptance letter to Temple University for the
Doctorate in Nursing Practice Family Across the Lifespan for Spring 2015! I will be attending this program part-time
with the intent to graduate in four years, Spring 2019.
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Vital Signs
Thank You for Covenant House Donations! Financial Aid News
- Christine Dardaris, E/W 2015
- Claire Tatlow, Coordinator of Student Financial Aid
A big thank you to the Evening/
Weekend Class of 2015 and anyone
else who donated items to the Covenant House in October!
My son tallied up most of the items and
here's a portion of what we collected: 200 diapers; 10 boxes of baby
wipes; 86 pencils; 30 pens; 18 notepads; 15 books; and a huge box of
gently new/used interview
clothes. And that's just part of what we
The U.S. Department of Education has announced that it will
implement a new login process in the spring of 2015. The new
process will replace the current FSA Pin with an FSA ID consisting of a user selected username and password. The student based websites will include FAFSA on the Web, NSLDS
Student Access, and the
TEACH Grant website.
The items were brought to the Covenant House Camden, NJ location and were gratefully accepted by the
Covenant House Service Manager. She was very touched by the
thoughtfulness of our students and excited to receive so many items
which will be put to immediate use by their clients.
Thank you again for your generous donations!! Remember, if all of us
give even just a little, it makes such a difference when we put it all together!
Students Assist at Flu Immunization Clinic
On Monday, November 24, 2014, Day
2016 students Rebecca Chui, Shannon
Macort, and Flo Temple, accompanied by
course coordinator/
instructor Ruth Ann
Kiefer, assisted at the
Fort Washington Fire
House for their annual
influenza immunization
clinic. The students
administered approximately 50 flu shots to
to right: Rebecca Chui, Flo Temple, Ruth Ann Kiefer, Shanget some IM injection Left
non Macort.
experience. They did a
great job and were well received by staff and family members.
Reminder: Library Chairs
Please remember to return all chairs to their proper place in the
library. Take pride in your school by keeping an organized
Students Participate in AMH CA Orientation
Evening/Weekend 2015 students Suzanne Granzinger, Kimberly Tissue,
and Barbara Woodard, were thanked for doing an “awesome job” teaching
in the skills station in the Clinical Associate orientation class on November
3, 2014. The students were enthusiastic about participating and were a
great help in teaching twenty new CA’s in the class. Great job!
Page 4
Vital Signs
Free Application for Federal Student Aid
(FAFSA) reminder emails will be sent to all
students beginning January 12, 2015 to alert students who have
submitted a 2014-15 FAFSA to renew their 2015-16 FAFSA on
the web. Be sure the email address you have listed on the 201415 FAFSA is your current email address!
Graduating DSON Seniors should complete a 2015-16 FAFSA
after January 1st, 2015 even if you are not sure what your educational plans will be after graduation. Remember that your educational plan of achieving the BSN will be to continue your education sooner rather than later. You don’t have to be accepted or
even have applied to a school to submit your FAFSA. You can
select up to 20 colleges and/or universities on the FAFSA to receive this information. Once you have decided on a college or
university, visit their website to find out what if there are any additional steps required to applying for financial aid.
Now is a good time to search for scholarships for next year.
Philadelphia Foundations Scholarship for Philadelphia residents , Tylenol Future Care Scholarship (http:// ) or
discover nursing which maybe a great start. Visit the DSON website, , for more options.
Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSFL)
If you are currently employed with or planning to pursue a career
with a Public Service organization and are repaying your federal
student loans, you may qualify for loan forgiveness on the remaining balance of your federal student loans. For more information, go to and click Public Service Loan Forgiveness or call 1-800-699-2908.
Attention Veterans
Did You Know…
The GI Bill website has a new design which promises easier navigation and faster access to the information veterans need as well
as better integration with other VA websites such as compensation, home loans and eBenefits. Testing fees are included in your
entitlement benefits by the VA. This includes the fee for the
NCLEX exam. Log into You can
also call 1-888-442-4551 for more information.
Vital Signs, a newsletter for the students, faculty, support staff, alumni,
and friends of the Dixon School of Nursing, is published throughout the academic year. Articles are always welcome and should be forwarded electronically to Erica Messerschmidt, M.Ed., Editor, at
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