COMMUNITY PARTNERS: St. Luke’s and St. Alphonsus
Dr. Pamela Strohfus
“A DNP education builds upon nurses’ knowledge and experiences while providing the tools to craft processes that improve the health and care of patients.”
– Pamela Strohfus
The online Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) provides today’s nurse leaders with the academic credentials and expertise needed to improve both patient care and health care systems.
The first cohort of DNP students graduated in May. As part of the program, each student created a scholarly project designed to enhance the level of care for a particular subset of patients or identify and address issues within a healthcare system.
Dr. Cherno Bah, a recent DNP graduate, investigated how staff diabetes education could enhance health outcomes for pa- tients in a large mental health hospital. Bah, who was born and raised in Gambia, has the distinction of earning his undergraduate, master’s and doctoral degrees all from Boise State.
“During my master’s, I fell in love with behavioral health and mental health, and the idea of practicing that in rural communities,” Bah said. “Boise State was just starting the DNP program and because I appreciated the learning environment here so much, I thought, ‘I should do this so I can work with people with mental illness.’”
Bah hopes to someday return to West Africa and work with rural, underserved populations.
Other inaugural graduates of the program included Dr. Pamela Fields, Dr. Andrea Lambe, Dr. Claudia Miewald and Dr. Jennifer Palagi. Their education is helping them revolutionize nursing practices in the Treasure Valley, throughout Idaho and beyond.
For instance, Fields, a board certified family nurse practitioner with Saint Alphonsus Health System, studied how rehabilita- tion exercises conducted prior to orthopedic surgeries could lead to more successful post-surgery patient outcomes, while Lambe, a registered nurse who works for Saint Alphonsus Medical Group, examined the importance that rehabilitation services play in developing healthy behaviors for patients following a heart attack or other cardiac incident.
“At Boise State, we recognize the close trust shared between nurses and the populations they serve,” said Dr. Pamela Strohfus, faculty lead for the DNP, adding that the new program also opens doors for ambitious undergraduate nursing students to take their education to new heights.