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TODAY news for Thursday, November 2, 2006

School of Nursing news

School of Nursing adds new faculty to roster

For the 2006–2007 school year, the School of Nursing has added several new faculty members. Following is a list of the recent faculty with a brief background.

Adelaide Caroci Durkin, MSN, RN
Instructor of nursing

Ms. Durkin is originally from Brazil and completed her bachelor of nursing degree in 1995 from Instituto Adventista de Ensino-Campus Sao Paulo, Sao Paulo, Brazil.

“In 1998 I came to the United States to learn English and I ended up being surprised and blessed with a scholarship given by Loma Linda University School of Nursing that would give me the opportunity to complete my master’s degree before returning to Brazil,” she says.

Ms. Durkin completed her MSN in 2001 and stayed in the School of Nursing teaching clinicals before returning to Brazil in January 2003. She taught nursing in Brazil for more than three years.

“I was very happy with my experience as a teacher and mentor,” she says. “I feel privileged to work with my former teachers and to grow in my leadership role.”

This year, Ms. Durkin returned to the United States to begin a new chapter in her life. She was married on October 8 to a friend she met seven years ago when she first came to Loma Linda.

“I am happy to join the LLUSN and with God’s help hope to fulfill the mission he has for me here,” she says.

Kari Firestone, MSN, RN
Instructor of nursing

Ms. Firestone grew up in Washington State and received her bachelor’s degree in nursing from Walla Walla College, College Place, Washington, in 1994. From there she worked in pediatric urgent care and pediatric hematology oncology for five years. During that time she also worked as a public health nurse for Yamhill County Health Department in immunizations, women’s health, and communicable diseases.

Ms. Firestone worked as a consultant for the child services division of Oregon State Department of Health and Human Services with medically indigent/needy foster children. While pregnant with her second son, Ms. Firestone made the move to working in hospice and palliative care. For the next five years she worked as a patient care coordinator for both adults and pediatrics.

Ms. Firestone, her husband, Jeff, and their two sons moved from Portland, Oregon, to Loma Linda in 2004. While Mr. Firestone attended the School of Dentistry, Ms. Firestone completed her master’s degree in nursing.

Now with the School of Nursing, Ms. Firestone is an instructor in pediatrics and continues her pursuit of improving end-of-life care across the spectrum of health care.

Marian Llaguno, MSN, RN
Instructor of nursing

Ms. Llaguno graduated with her bachelor in nursing degree from Philippine Union College (now called Adventist University of the Philippines). She received her master’s degree in nursing with a family nurse practitioner certificate from California State University–Long Beach. She worked for LLUMC for more than 25 years in the med-surgical ICU, pediatrics, and neonatal areas as a float RN, and with the TotalCare Birth Center with high risk antepartum and mother-baby care. She had also taught in the LVN and RN programs for Victor Valley College and San Bernardino Valley College. Her passion is doing mission work, especially with underserved populations in the Philippines, including healing, teaching, and preaching. In August 2006, she brought some volunteers from Loma Linda to the mountains of Davao City to do a health expo to the Bagobo Tribe. She is teaching [Nursing 314–the Childbearing Family] with Bonnie Thiel.

Deborah Monson, MS, RN
Instructor of nursing

Prior to joining LLUSN full-time, Ms. Monson worked part-time as clinical supervisor for nursing of the older adult teaching assistant for nursing practice elective. Ms. Monson has also worked as an operating room nurse.

Ms. Monson received her master’s degree in nursing from the School of Nursing. According to her, higher education in nursing was sought at LLU because of the wholeness perspective and incorporation of diversity.

“A full-time faculty position at LLU is a welcome gift because it allows me to incorporate Christian values and beliefs into the teaching of nursing educational curriculum,” she says.

This school year Ms. Monson’s duties include instruction for nursing of the older adult and strategies for professional transition. In addition, she will be working as a research assistant to Chiaka Ejike, MD, at LLUMC. Dr. Ejike is studying pediatric abdominal compartment syndrome.

Ms. Monson received the 2006 Helen Emori King Professional Leadership Award and looks forward to developing collegial relationships with her university peers.

Christine Neish, PhD, RN
Associate professor

Dr. Neish was born in New York City and moved to California at 7 years of age.

She received her bachelor’s degree in nursing from Loma Linda University School of Nursing; her master of public health degree from LLU School of Public Health; and her PhD in adult education from Claremont Graduate School.

Dr. Neish has previously served as director of the health division for the Utah Navajo development council.

In 1973, she joined the faculty of LLU’s School of Public Health and remained there for the next 10 years. In 1984, she became nurse administrator at Mineral Springs Hospital in Banff, Alberta, Canada. In 1986, Dr. Neish returned to the School of Public Health and worked there as a faculty member, chair of the department of health promotion and education, and associate dean, until this year, when she joined LLUSN.

“I am currently lecturing to undergraduate students and teaching a community and public health nursing laboratory in the Riverside County Health Department,” she says.

Dr. Neish also assists with the new doctoral degree program LLUSN and mentors doctoral students.

Nancie Parmenter, MSN, RN
Instructor of nursing

Ms. Parmenter comes to LLUSN with a background of more than 30 years in management in the areas of health care, from inpatient, outpatient, home care services, and clinics.

“The whole time I was in administration I would teach one or more classes because that is my first love,” she says. “I jokingly have said that I worked in administration to support my hobby of teaching.”

Ms. Parmenter spent 10 years working as a surveyor for the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO) and also worked as a private consultant during that period.

Ms. Parmenter arrived in Southern California two years ago to work in management at LLUMC.

According to her, one of the main reasons she came to Southern California was because of the School of Nursing.

“I always thought I would like to teach full-time someday and that day has now arrived,” she says. “I am really happy to be here at LLUSN!”

Anne Berit Petersen, MS, MPH, RN
Assistant professor of nursing

Ms. Petersen was born to Danish parents and spent her early childhood in Ethiopia.

After graduating from Columbia Union College, Takoma Park, Maryland, in 1990 with a degree in English literature, Ms. Petersen received her degree in nursing in 1994 from Andrews University, Berrien Spring, Michigan.

Additionally, she has recently completed a dual degree program at LLU in nursing and public health, with an emphasis in maternal/child health and health promotion and education respectively.

Ms. Petersen has a passion for international health and has worked with a number of LLU’s international projects, including more than two years at Sir Run Run Shaw Hospital, People’s Republic of China, and a short-term involvement in the Afghanistan project. This summer she traveled to Botswana with LLUSN’s student trip, and she functioned as preceptor for the practicum students.

Ms. Petersen will be teaching health promotion in the undergraduate program. In addition she will be functioning as the School’s liaison at the SAC Health Systems clinic. In this role she will focus on enhancing the student’s learning opportunities at the clinic, as well as collaborating on projects with the clinic staff to improve the delivery of care.

Edelweiss Ramal, PhD, RN
Assistant professor of nursing

Born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Dr. Ramal has been active in nursing education since 1974. It was then that she developed the bachelor’s degree program in nursing at Universidad de Montemorelos in Mexico.

In addition to nursing education at Montemorelos, Dr. Ramal has taught nursing at Pacific Union College, Angwin, California. Dr. Ramal has also served as director of the nursing program at Kanye Seventh-day Adventist Hospital in Kanye, Botswana, Africa. Several nursing students have travelled there recently on a mission trip.

Dr. Ramal’s husband, Hector, is a minister who has also been in education for the past 15 years after pastoring in Napa Valley. The couple have two children.

“I have a passion for health promotion,” says Dr. Ramal. “And I am thrilled that I will be involved in this class in the undergraduate program along with other activities in the graduate program.”

Karen Ripley, MSN, RN
Instructor of nursing

Ms. Ripley grew up in Massachusetts and moved to Southern California when she was in junior high school. After graduating in 1981 from Tustin High, Tustin, California, she received her bachelor’s degree in child development in 1986.

After teaching kindergarten for 10 years, Ms. Ripley began studying nursing at the School of Nursing.

“I loved teaching and working with kids,” she says, “but wanted to pursue something different, so I began nursing school in 1994.”

Ms. Ripley graduated with her bachelor’s degree in nursing in 1996 and has been working as a pediatric hematology/oncology nurse until 2005.

“My love of teaching continued to pursue me, and I began teaching clinicals for the School of Nursing in 2001,” she says.

This eventually led her into the graduate program at the School of Nursing, and she graduated this past June with her master’s degree in nursing.

“I love working with students,” Ms. Ripley says. “When I was going through the undergraduate program, I had such a positive experience that I knew I wanted to someday return to students what was given to me.”

Ms. Ripley has been a clinical instructor for child health nursing in the School of Nursing for the past five years, working with students at LLU Children’s Hospital.

Currently, she is the new course coordinator for child health nursing at LLUSN.

Nancy Testerman, MS, RN
Instructor of nursing

Ms. Testerman has been a clinical faculty member in psychiatric nursing for the past two years. This year she will be working with Katty Joy French, PhD, RN, associate professor, LLUSN, as co-coordinator for Nursing 217. Ms. Testerman received her master’s degree in psychiatric nursing from LLU, in addition to her master’s degree in marriage and family therapy. Ms. Testerman is also a licensed therapist.

“I love the students and that’s what brings me back to teaching,” she says. “I can’t wait to meet this year’s group.”

By Dustin R. Jones, MA

TODAY news for Thursday, November 2, 2006