October 10, 2016
Not many students have articles published in professional journals the very month they graduate. But Rachel Jalowiec wasn’t just any student, according to her professors.
“Rachel was an outstanding student who consistently applied herself to her studies but also looked for opportunities beyond the classroom to learn and grow,” said Patricia A. Sharpnack, DNP, dean of Ursuline’s Breen School of Nursing. “She served as the president of the Student Nurses Association (SNUC), was the captain of her sports team, completed the prerequisites to become the inaugural BSN Honor Student and served as a student representative to the BSN Faculty meetings.”
Beyond all that, said Sharpnack, “Rachel expanded her nursing knowledge by participating in academic research, presenting a poster at the Quality and Safety in Nursing Education (QSEN) Annual Summit and working with QSEN researchers to develop a blog to encourage dialogue about patient safety with nursing students on a national basis.”
It was that quality and safety research that led to Jalowiec’s publication. The very month she graduated with a bachelor of science degree in nursing, American Nurse Today published a paper she co-wrote with Sharpnack and Associate Dean Laura Goliat (both of whom hold multiple nursing degrees from Ursuline).
We caught up with a very busy Jalowiec, now a nurse at University Hospitals St. John Medical Center, to find out what motivated her to take on this extra assignment.
What got you interested in quality and safety in healthcare?
We take a class sophomore year titled Foundations of Nursing Practice, taught by Mrs. Denise Crowther. As part of this class we learn about quality and safety education in nursing, otherwise known as QSEN. After learning about QSEN and watching the film “Escape Fire: The Fight to Save American Healthcare,” it opened my eyes to the problems we face every day within our healthcare system. I reached out to Dr. Mary Dolansky, director of QSEN, to see if she had ever considered student involvement within QSEN. She embraced the opportunity and together we gathered a team to create QStudent, a student focused portion of QSEN.
How did this opportunity come about for you?
At one of our QStudent meetings we were discussing ways to publicize QStudent and Dr. Dolansky had come up with the idea to publish an article. I reached out to Dr. Sharpnack and Dr. Goliat and we collaborated to write the article.
What is QStudent?
QStudent is a student-focused portion of QSEN. We have an interactive blog that allows students to answer questions prompted by the topic of the blog entry. There are a list of resources that both students and faculty have found helpful. The goal behind QStudent is to educate students on the six competencies of QSEN and create more educated and competent nurses. QStudent also allows students to have a voice in the healthcare system before becoming registered nurses. We also hope that students can learn from one another’s experiences through the blog.
How has your Ursuline education benefited you in your career so far?
One of the biggest benefits I have gained from my Ursuline education is being introduced to, and living by, the three core values: values, voice, vision. Knowing these values has allowed me to feel comfortable becoming involved, whether it be within my workplace or outside organizations. The high standards set by Ursuline, in particular the nursing program, have taught me to set the bar high for myself and made me a competent nurse.
What would you say to someone considering pursuing a nursing degree at Ursuline?
I would most definitely encourage them to pursue a nursing degree at Ursuline! There is truly no better place to obtain a nursing degree. The faculty is nothing short of amazing and the small class sizes allow your instructors to know you on a more personal level. However, as much as I would like to sugar coat it, I would tell them that nursing school, no matter where you pursue a degree, is not an easy path. But the end result is life changing!
I would not be where I am today, and as successful as I was throughout my time at Ursuline, without the help of all of my instructors and truly role models, especially Dr. Sharpnack, Dr. Goliat and Mrs. Crowther.
Above: Rachel Jalowiec, second from right, and classmates volunteering at The Fest.