Nursing School faculty members receive award

Three UVM faculty members have recently won a prestigious award in the field of nursing. Betty Rambur, Barbara McIntosh and Mary Val Palumbo of UVM, along with Kyndaron Reinier of Oregon received the “Best of the Journal of Nursing Scholarship for Profession and Society” award, according to Palumbo. “We were happily surprised to get this award,” Palumbo said. “We were very surprised. We didn’t even know it was being considered,” Rambur said. She said that it is not unusual for an article to win an award a few years after it is published, and that “the im?pact it makes is very important.” Their article received the award at the 39th Biennial Convention of Sigma Theta Tau International, a convention that took place in early November, 2007 in Baltimore, Palumbo said. The article, “Education as a Determinant of Career Re?tention and Job Satisfaction Among Registered Nurses,” was published in Sigma The?ta Tau’s Journal of Nursing Scholarship in 2005, according to the article. The article “compare[s] job satisfaction and career retention in two cohorts of RNs, those whose highest degrees were the associate degree (AD) or the bachelor’s degree (BS) in nursing.” The AD is a two year program, and the BS is four, or more, years. Nursing students at UVM graduate with a bachelor’s degree, according to Rambur. Nurses with a higher level of education experienced much more job satisfaction and career retention than those with an AD, according to the article. It also states that BS RNs scored much higher than AD RNs in terms of job satisfaction. In addition, “patient safety is significantly enhanced with a bachelor’s degree,” Rambur said. For this reason, there is an increasing trend in health care facilities desiring nurses with the higher degree, she said. The authors compiled their findings from a survey of 3,000 Vermont nurses, 878 of which fit the study. Rambur “hope[s] that students begin to see themselves more as scientists” as a result of the article and the award. “The research can be both local and international,” she said. Rambur, who is the lead author of the article, according to Palumbo, said that her research focuses on nursing workforce issues and that the article is part of a long line of work with similar themes. She is the Dean of the College of Nursing and Health Science, but is on leave as an American Council on Education Fellow at University of Wisconsin-Madison, Palumbo said.