Tuesday, May 14, 2024

Preparing for a nursing student with a service dog


Silbert-Flagg, J., Shilling, S. D., Lucas, L., Nolan, M. T., Lin, L., Bellefeuille, P., Foley, M., Mallareddy, D., Baker, D., & D'Aoust, R. (2020) published an article in The Journal of Professional Nursing. 

Highlights of the article include:

Guidance to nursing programs to assist in planning clinical for a student with a service animal

Common misperceptions about service animals in the workplace

Examples of experiences with students with service animals in two schools of nursing


This article offers guidance to nursing programs to assist in planning for a quality educational experience for a student with a service animal while ensuring patient safety and the continuation of efficient clinical operations. Nursing faculty should be aware of misperceptions about service animals in the workplace, address fears, concerns, and communicate plans for educating the student with the service animal to all faculty, staff and clinical personnel involved with the student. Examples are provided from experiences with multiple students using service dogs at two schools of nursing.

Silbert-Flagg, J., Shilling, S. D., Lucas, L., Nolan, M. T., Lin, L., Bellefeuille, P., Foley, M., Mallareddy, D., Baker, D., & D'Aoust, R. (2020). Preparing for a student with a service animal. Journal of professional nursing : official journal of the American Association of Colleges of Nursing36(6), 458–461. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.profnurs.2020.03.001

Preparing for a student with a service animal - ScienceDirect



Saturday, May 11, 2024

Shriners Children's Boston inspired burn victim to become a nurse

 "Olivia, a former patient at Shriners Children’s Boston, came to the hospital when she was 8 after suffering from extreme third-degree burns when hot water in a pot for mac-n-cheese scalded her left shoulder and upper back. She underwent several burn graft surgeries and stayed in the hospital for almost a month after the accident. She said the personalized care she received while she was a patient is what inspired her to become a nurse.

“The care at Shriners Children’s Boston was so drastically different from any other care I received as a child,” said Olivia. “As soon as we walked in the hospital doors it was clear that this is what they do, what they are experts in. It was incredible to see the way everyone worked together, the nurses, the occupational and physical therapists, the surgeons and the physicians. I think about my nurses I had at Shriners Children’s all the time and how they were able to advocate for my needs for me and my family. The care the staff at the hospital provided me to make me feel OK during a really scary time is really what influenced me to be where I am today.”

Olivia graduated in 2023 with a degree in nursing from Fairfield University in Connecticut. Today, she’s a nurse at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center on a General Medicine floor. She credits Shriners Children’s with turning a devastating burn injury into an opportunity to see a career field she never thought of before."

Read more about Olivia at:




Thursday, May 9, 2024

Erin Norwood is first wheelchair user to graduate from VCU's nursing program

Erin Norwood, BSN
 “VCU was one of the few schools to say they were willing to work with me,” she said. “Preparing for a career in nursing while bound to a wheelchair has its challenges and obstacles, but I don’t feel horrible about it because it gives me the opportunity to prove that it can be done.”

During her nursing studies, Norwood became especially interested in pediatric intensive care unit nursing. She spent many hours volunteering at VCU Health’s Family Care Center, as well as providing support to pediatric patients and their parents on the ICU floor. 

“I really love working with children, especially infants, but I also love the fact that pediatric ICUs are very team-oriented,” she said. “There are doctors, nurses, respiratory therapists and physical therapists all working together. It’s a really great atmosphere for building positive relationships and learning new skills.”

Inspired by a semester working with the Virginia Department of Health, Norwood is also considering a career in community health. With the VDH, she joined various outreach projects, such as administering COVID-19 vaccines and providing food, clothing, diapers and other essentials to local underserved communities."

Read more about Erin atClass of 2024: Erin Norwood hopes to make more space for disability in health care - VCU News - Virginia Commonwealth University



Saturday, May 4, 2024

Utah nursing student fights to get accommodations related to her disability

Maria Thomson and her service dog, Daisy

The Salt Lake Tribune reported on Maria Thomson's story. 

"In June 2022, Thomson, Ramp-Adams and the school’s ADA coordinator met to discuss a publication from The Journal of Professional Nursing, about how to accommodate students with service dogs in clinical settings. After that, Thomson said, she met with lab instructors at the start of every semester to introduce them to Daisy and work out logistics."

"When the school changed its name to Joyce, Thomson said, it replaced its ADA coordinator with an employee who didn’t have training in that field. “That’s kind of where my problems began,” she said, “just because there wasn’t that person there that understood and was able to help me navigate certain situations.”

"The cascade of issues that led to Thomson’s expulsion from Joyce happened in a stretch of just over a month."

Read more at:

A Utah nursing student's lawsuit highlights a debate over how the Americans With Disabilities Act is enforced. (sltrib.com)



Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Nurse who survived 100-foot-fall is back to work at the Mayo Clinic

In the Loop reported that, "Amber Kohnhorst was quite literally between a rock and a hard place. She'd fallen while hiking alone in Cane Beds, Arizona, landing 100 feet below the path she'd been on. Now she was lying in "a narrow, rock-walled dungeon, maybe 10 feet by 10 feet," Rochester Magazine reports. Amber, a nurse at Mayo Clinic's Rochester campus, assessed her injuries, which included a broken nose and pelvis, and a fractured back. She also assessed her supplies, which included some trail mix, an empty water bottle, and a whistle. And she assessed her overall situation. She was alone, broken and — with no cell signal — had no way to call for help."


"Nearly two years after the accident that nearly took her life, Amber is now doing much more than walking. She's returned to work at Mayo Clinic and tells Best Friends blog that "being a patient has made her a better nurse." The blog reports she's also resumed volunteering with two organizations close to her heart: "Can Do Canines (an organization that trains service dogs for people with various challenges) and RideAbility, which offers therapeutic horseback riding for children and adults with special needs."

Read more about Amber's remarkable journey at:
After Surviving 100-Foot Fall, Nurse is Moving Forward and Looking Up | In the Loop (mayoclinic.org)



Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Nurses and nursing students with disabilities: this webinar is for you!!! #accessinnursing


We're thrilled to invite you to the upcoming event hosted by the DocsWithDisabilities Initiative: "Empowering Women with Disabilities in Nursing: A Mentorship Panel."

Event Details:

Date: May 8th, 2024

Time: 3:30 - 5:00 pm EST

Moderators: Drs. Brigit Carter (AACN) and Lisa Meeks (DWDI)

Registration: Webinar Registration - Zoom

All are welcome, with captioning and ASL provided.

Join us as we extend crucial support to women with disabilities in the nursing profession through an enriching mentorship panel. Spearheaded by the Docs with Disabilities team, this event aims to provide free mentorship resources accessible to all members of the nursing community.

Event Overview:

The DocsWithDisabilities Initiative, Access in Nursing Program, and the University of Michigan Center for Disability Health and Wellness, in collaboration with various disability organizations, proudly present "Empowering Women with Disabilities in Nursing: A Mentorship Panel."

Seasoned nurses will share invaluable insights on navigating the nursing journey with a disability while addressing the unique challenges encountered by women in the field.


This event is made possible thanks to the generous support from the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR #90RTHF0005) and grant 142636 from the Ford Foundation.

We are also proud to work with our partner organizations on this event including:

AACN (American Association of Colleges of Nursing)

AHEAD (Association for Higher Education and Disability)

AMPHL (Association for Medical Professionals with Hearing Loss)

Disability Lead

Exceptional Nurse

Johns Hopkins University Disability Health Research Center

MDisability Program, Department of Family Medicine, Michigan Medicine

SMADIE (Stanford Medicine Alliance for Disability Inclusion and Equity)

UC Davis School of Medicine Center for a Diverse Healthcare Workforce

Hope you can make it.



Friday, April 12, 2024

Patient with spina bifida became a nursing assistant at Gillette Children's Hospital

Nick Lohmer

"Lohmer has been a Gillette employee for 17 years, but his journey through the halls of the hospital goes back to the first few months of his life.

He was born with a spine condition and knows exactly what the kids there are seeing and feeling.

“I grew up here at Gillette, I have spina bifida myself. I've had 88 surgeries as of a year ago, and not all, but a good number of them have been here at Gillette,” Lohmer said

Spending a lot of his youth at the hospital wasn't always easy, but it did give Lohmer a clear idea of how he planned to spend the rest of his life.

“I kind of always knew from a very young age, early teenage years I would say, that I knew that I wanted to be in the medical field. I wanted to be involved with helping mainly kids but people just in general, that have had similar situations to what I've been through and obviously I can relate to them in a way that other people can't,” Lohmer said.  

Now, everywhere Lohmer goes at the hospital, patients and their families stop to chat.

He is able to walk, but Lohmer’s condition has made it tougher over time. It is easier for him to get around the hospital in his wheelchair.

For patients, it provides an instant connection."

Read more at:

Gillette Children's patient becomes nursing assistant at the hospital where he 'grew up' (fox9.com)