Providing ‘Health Safety Nets’ For Chicago Students

By Marilyn Wideman

For 20 years, the Rush University College of Nursing has provided health care to the Chicago community through nurse-managed community-based health centers. A hallmark of these health centers is providing care where individuals live, learn and work. The Rush School-Based Health Centers are a prime example of delivering accessible health care where individuals learn.

The College of Nursing has administered a School-Based Health Center at Crane and Orr High Schools for more than 16 years and at Simpson Academy for two years. Crane and Orr have students in grades nine through 12 and Simpson Academy is for girls in grades six through 12 who are pregnant, parenting or both. All three are public schools, have student bodies from underserved populations and are located in neighborhoods with high poverty levels.

The Rush School Based-Health Centers are health safety nets for these vulnerable students. The clinicians provide care by involving teachers, providing health outreach programs within classrooms, cafeterias and hallways, and providing comprehensive care in the school clinics. Clinical services are provided by advanced practice registered nurses, physicians and large numbers of Rush’s interprofessional students. The services include physicals, immunizations, treatment of injuries, intermittent care, mental health services, prenatal care and health care for the children of the students.

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Readers Remember Luther Christman

“A remarkable leader.” “Ahead of his time.” “A maverick.”

They’re all references to Luther Christman, PhD, RN, emeritus dean of the Rush University College of Nursing who died on June 7, and they’re among the comments submitted to Rush InPerson by those who knew him.

Here are a few samples of the comments left on a previous post announcing a symposium in his honor on Nov. 6 at Rush University:

I will be forever grateful to Luther for his recognition of the importance of basic sciences to nursing education, practice, and research … and, on a very personal basis, his willingness to give me a chance!
— Jan Zeller

Dr. Christman was a true visionary. He developed ideas that people believed would never work. He succeeded with all of his projects and way beyond. It truly was a honor to next to him for many years. He gave me opportunities in the international nursing community which I will never forget. He was my mentor and a close friend after he left Rush. I will always be thankful for his direction.
— Jane Tarnow, DNSc, RN

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From the Archives: Nursing School Gym Class, 1920

By Heather Stecklein

In this 1920 photo from the Rush Archives, nursing students participate in a gymnasium class at the St. Luke’s Hospital School of Nursing.

The course work at St. Luke’s Hospital School of Nursing in 1920 included scientific lectures by hospital doctors in anatomy, physiology, pathology and dietetics.

In addition, the curriculum required practical courses including gymnasium exercises, social dance and massage.

The St. Luke’s Hospital School of Nursing is a predecessor to the Rush College of Nursing. It operated on South Michigan Avenue from 1886 to 1956.

Heather Stecklein is an archivist with Rush University Medical Center. You can contact the Archives at or at (312) 942-7214.

Rush’s New Chief Nurse Talks about Quality of Care

Luzviminda Calo, RN, supplemental staffing nurse, talks with Cynthia Barginere, DNP(c), RN, FACHE.

In May, Cynthia Barginere joined Rush as chief nursing officer, vice president for clinical nursing and associate dean for practice for Rush University Medical Center and the Rush University College of Nursing. Barginere previously served as chief nursing officer and chief operating officer at Baptist Medical Center South, a 454-bed, acute care regional tertiary referral center and teaching hospital in Montgomery, Ala.

Rush’s Elizabeth Higgins spoke to her about plans for the future of nursing, education and patient care at Rush.

As chief nursing officer and vice president for clinical nursing, how do you envision your role of leading nursing at Rush?

I think the responsibility of any chief nursing officer is to ensure the appropriateness of clinical practice for nurses across the organization. The overall goal is to make sure that the nursing care is of the highest quality so that patients receive the best possible care and achieve the highest possible outcomes. The nursing care here at Rush has a reputation for being of the highest quality, given its three-time Magnet designation and shared governance model. My role, beyond ensuring the quality of the clinical practice, is to help the nursing service and the leadership team create a vision for Rush, so that we can maintain the Medical Center’s position in nursing and help to drive the future of nursing. Continue reading

Rush Nurse a Source of Comfort in a Difficult Time

By Nancy DiFiore

When a patient begins to recover from surgery, emotions and anxiety can run high. Coming out of anesthesia may be difficult and disorienting, and inevitably, some patients will experience discomfort or pain after undergoing a surgical procedure.

Sarah Horvath, RN, BSN, staff nurse in the ambulatory surgery unit and the postanesthesia care unit at Rush, does all she can to help ease patients’ symptoms and anxieties when they are in recovery.

“I try to make things a little better for them, a little more comfortable. As much as possible, I try to help them by decreasing their pain and reducing their fear by keeping them as informed as possible,” Horvath says.

In recognition of her dedication to providing the best possible care and enhancing the patient experience, Horvath was chosen to receive this year’s “Star of the Year” Award.

This award is unique compared to other awards that are given at Rush, because recipients aren’t nominated by a Rush University Medical Center colleague. Instead, the award is given to one of the Rush employees whom patients mention by name in the comments of the Medical Center’s patient satisfaction surveys. Approximately 20 members of the Rush community receive a Patient Satisfaction Star Award each year, and one is chosen annually as the “Star of the Year.”

One particular patient who took notice of Horvath’s compassion wrote, “My nurse in the secondary recovery, Sarah Horvath, was amazing. I was ill, and she was taking care of me with genuine care. She also walked to one of the entrances to get my husband because it was after hours. She then wheeled me (with my husband) from the fifth floor atrium to the parking garage so that we would not get lost.” Continue reading

Nurses ‘Heard, Recognized and Respected’ at Rush

By Yurlene S. Dela Cruz

Florence Nightingale provided exemplary dedication to touch people’s lives by giving up her personal comfort. This laid the foundation for what remains a highly recognized profession: nursing.

Nursing is a dynamic profession. It provides us the opportunity to make a difference in people’s lives through our unique healing power. It calls for a combination of critical thinking and a genuine compassion for those who have been afflicted with physical, mental and emotional pain.

The iconic “white cap,” which reminded me of my student years in the early ’90s, signifies one meaning: service and respect. For almost two decades now, I’m privileged to have seen the many interesting scenarios of patient care services.

I had the opportunity to be a nurse for people with various cultural backgrounds working in Asia, Europe and here in the United States. The uniqueness of each of my patient encounters has made nursing more interesting to me. If there is passion, commitment, interpersonal skills in any corner of clinical practice, then we are able to provide the best level of care that any patient deserves. Continue reading

Nurses Brave Snowstorm to Transport Injured Infant

Megan Jones, APN (left), and Erin Hederman, RN, with a patient in the Rush Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.

By Kevin McKeough

Only one vehicle was driving along Interstate 290 as the blizzard was coming to an end on Wednesday morning, Feb. 2. It was an ambulance bringing two nurses from Rush University Medical Center to Sherman Hospital in Elgin to transport a newborn infant with a head injury to Rush for observation.

The one-day-old boy had been injured in a fall, and he needed to be brought to a hospital with pediatric neurosurgery capabilities in case it became necessary to operate to relieve the swelling in his head. Rush is the referral center for Sherman Hospital for such cases.

Rush had received the request for the infant to be transported the night of Feb. 1, but the blizzard made it impossible to send a team for the child then. Lorenzo Munoz, MD, director of the Rush Neurointensive Care Unit, managed the child’s care by phone throughout the night. Meanwhile, 14 Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) nurses slept overnight in empty patient rooms to ensure that the NICU would be adequately staffed the next day. Continue reading