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Cizik School of Nursing faculty receive UT Shine Academy Awards to enhance curriculum

Rebecca Tsusaki, PhD, APRN, WHNP-BC, IBCLC, and Padmavathy Ramaswamy, PhD, MSN, MPH, FNP-C.
Rebecca Tsusaki, PhD, APRN, WHNP-BC, IBCLC
Rebecca Tsusaki, PhD, APRN, WHNP-BC, IBCLC
Padmavathy Ramaswamy, PhD, MSN, MPH, FNP-C
Padmavathy Ramaswamy, PhD, MSN, MPH, FNP-C

Two assistant professors from Cizik School of Nursing at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth Houston) were recently awarded grants from The University of Texas Kenneth L. Shine Academy of Health Science Education.

Rebecca Tsusaki, PhD, APRN, WHNP-BC, IBCLC, spearheaded a small grant submission entitled, “Respecting Individuality and Sexuality in Nursing and Healthcare (RISING-H) Curriculum Development for Sexual & Gender Minority Education: A Feasibility Study.”

“In the evaluation of our current curriculum, we noticed there was a significant gap in material to help our nursing students care for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer or questioning (LGBTQ) patient populations,” said Tsusaki. “We need and want our nurses to feel comfortable and confident when interacting with this particular community so that they can provide them with the highest standards of care out in the field.”

Tsusaki worked with co-investigators, including Daisy Mullassery, DrNP, APRN, WHNP-BC, and Padmavathy Ramaswamy, PhD, MSN, MPH, FNP-C, on the grant submission.

“We identified this as a real issue and one we wanted to tackle, especially given the fact that Houston is home to one of the largest LGBTQ populations in the country,” said Tsusaki.

The grant will support the development of different multi-media modules, which will help students learn in meaningful and interactive ways to narrow the health care disparities often experienced by the LGBTQ population.

In addition, Dr. Ramaswamy is the primary investigator for another Shine Academy grant entitled, “The Use of the Interprofessional Collaborator Assessment Rubric (iCAR) in an intra-professional clinical simulation in the School of Nursing.” 

This particular grant will support the utilization of an interprofessional evaluation tool in an intra-professional simulation. This will help measure how well undergraduate and graduate nursing students collaborate as a team when interacting with patients. 

“Collaboration is one of six core values we hold at Cizik School of Nursing and is a cornerstone of the nursing profession,” said Ramaswamy. “The instrument we use will evaluate not only the collaboration but the communication and teamwork between undergraduate and graduate nursing students. We will train faculty and standardized patients on using the tool, so we can objectively measure the interactions between both groups of students.”

Ramaswamy worked alongside Kristin Ownby, PhD, RN, AOCN, ACHPN, ANP-BC, ACNS-BC; Mandy Lyons, DNP, MSN, RN, WHNP-BC; and Kennessa Landry, MSN, RN on the grant proposal.

The goal is to report on the findings locally and then disseminate them in a peer reviewed journal so other institutions can implement similar programs.

A formal announcement of both awards occurred during the 2022 UT Shine Academy Conference, which took place virtually February 25-26.

Laura Frnka-Davis

In this story

Padmavathy Ramaswamy, PhD, MSN, MPH, RN, FNP-C, FNAP

Rebecca L Tsusaki, PhD, RN, WHNP-BC, IBCLC

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