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TODAY news for Thursday, July 20, 2006

School of Nursing news

School of Nursing professor receives her doctoral degree

Ellen D�Errico, PhD, RN
Ellen D’Errico, PhD, RN
The School of Nursing can now count one more faculty member with a doctoral degree. Ellen D’Errico, PhD, RN, assistant professor of nursing, received her PhD in nursing from the University of California, Los Angeles, with the class of 2006.

Dr. D’Errico earned the AS degree in nursing from Atlantic Union College, South Lancaster, Massachusetts; the bachelor’s degree in nursing from Dominican College, Blauvelt, New York; and the master’s degree in nursing from Loma Linda University.

Dr. D’Errico’s dissertation was titled “RN Continuity and End-Result Outcomes in Home Health Care.”

According to Dr. D’Errico, substantial changes have occurred in home health care financing and utilization since 1997.

“These changes have resulted in provider organizations having to carefully re-assess and re-evaluate methods of care delivery in order to remain fiscally viable while providing quality care,” says Dr. D’Errico.

Consequently, questions have been asked regarding the quality of care provided to home health care recipients. However, no one has asked about whether having the same nurse providing continuity of care to patients makes a difference in the stabilization or improvement of health outcomes.

This retrospective cohort study of existing data from a home health agency examines the association of RN continuity of care to the end-result outcomes of: 1) functional status, 2) psychological status, and 3) use of emergent care.

The population selected was chronically ill, elderly, first-time users of home health care. The results showed no relationship of RN continuity of care to functional status and use of emergent care for the period examined. However, higher levels of RN continuity were associated with a decreased likelihood of neuro/emotional/behavioral issues for patients at discharge.

Dr. D’Errico has worked at the School of Nursing since September 1998. Her research interests are in health care systems, particularly nursing care delivery systems.

With the addition of Dr. D’Errico, the total number of faculty members with a doctoral degree in the Loma Linda University School of Nursing now stands at 26.

By Dustin R. Jones, MA

TODAY news for Thursday, July 20, 2006