NDSU nursing faculty receive Legendary Nurse awards

North Dakota State University School of Nursing faculty members Kelly Buettner-Schmidt and Holly Sandhurst were named Legendary Nurses by the North Dakota Center for Nursing this fall.

The North Dakota Center for Nursing created the Legendary Nurse Award in 2015 to honor nurses who have made significant contributions to the nursing profession in the state.

Kelly Buettner-Schmidt, associate professor of nursing, received the Legendary Nurse Research Award. The award recognizes excellence in promoting research through facilitation of research or conducting evidence-based practice, quality improvement, nursing or education.

Dr. Buettner-Schmidt’s research evolved from her clinical expertise including public health, rural health, public policy, nursing, e-cigarettes and tobacco cessation interventions at the systems and healthcare provider level.

“The contributions of Dr. Kelly Buettner-Schmidt have had a significant impact on the health of citizens regionally and nationally; leading to changes in practice, environmental health, and social norms, leading back to improved public health,” said Carla Gross, associate dean of the NDSU School of Nursing.

Buettner-Schmidt’s research has been funded by the American Cancer Society, American Heart Association, American Lung Association, Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids and other sources. She works with interdisciplinary teams to conduct her research, both locally and across the country, working with researchers in pharmacy, biochemistry, statistics, nutrition, epidemiology, business, mathematics and nursing.

Her research has been published in the Journal of Pediatric Nursing, Research in Nursing & Health, Tobacco Control, Public Health Nursing, Journal of Advanced Nursing, and appeared in U.S. News and World Report and WebMD, among others. Buettner-Schmidt’s 2016 research about e-cigarettes was cited in a U.S. Surgeon General’s report. In 2016, Buettner-Schmidt was inducted as a Fellow in the prestigious American Academy of Nursing.

The North Dakota Center for Nursing also awarded Dr. Holly Sandhurst a Legendary Nurse Award for Faculty Achievement. The award recognizes excellence in teaching, engaging students in the love for nursing and supports student growth. 

Sandhurst is assistant professor of practice and director of NDSU’s nationally-ranked online RN-to-BSN program. She possesses extensive experience in nursing education, especially the unique needs of the RN online learner. Dr. Sandhurst provided the leadership for the NDSU School of Nursing to offer a program that honors and respects the knowledge and skills of RN’s entering the program so they build on that foundation and learn new skills to help RNs transform their clinical practice, while they pursue their bachelor’s of science in nursing degrees.

Dr. Sandhurst develops creative approaches to teaching such as escape rooms and other exercises such as “Friday night in the ER” that require students to work together as a team to solve problems and make decisions that are in the best interest of their patients.

“I don’t think I’ve met a more student-focused faculty member. She finds ways to elevate and inspire students to want to reach their optimal potential,” said Carla Gross, associate dean of nursing at NDSU. “She challenges us all to raise the bar and make sure students are truly the focus of nursing education.”

Under Sandhurst’s leadership, the NDSU RN-to-BSN blended online program was recognized as one of the best accredited online BSN programs in the country for 2018 by BestColleges.com. 

Listed at number 4 in the ranking, NDSU’s online bachelor’s of science in nursing program offers a blended-format curriculum. Selection for the ranking was determined by academic quality, admissions, retention and graduation rates, according to BestColleges.com.

With sites in Bismarck and Fargo, North Dakota, NDSU School of Nursing offers programs to part- and full-time students, working professionals and those seeking online educational opportunities. Programs include:  RN to BSN blended online program; pre-licensure BSN program; LPN to BSN blended online program; and doctor of nursing practice/family nurse practitioner program in Bismarck and in Fargo. The School of Nursing is part of the NDSU College of Health Professions. The bachelor’s of science in nursing (BSN) program and doctor of nursing practice (DNP) program at NDSU are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education www.aacnnursing.org/CCNE

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