Reflections on African-American Nursing History Conference

Students from Goldfarb School of Nursing at Barnes-Jewish College attended the 8th Annual African-American Nursing History Conference on February 25, 2015. Hosted by the College of Nursing at the University of Missouri-St. Louis, the conference focused on health disparities, promoting community wellness and identifying evidence-based research that affects changes in vulnerable populations throughout the community.

Goldfarb was a proud sponsor of the conference, and was excited to have so many students attend. Below are just a few reflections on, and photos from, the conference that our students shared.

AANH Conference - 2015“I am grateful I was granted the opportunity to attend the African-American Nursing History Conference. The speakers were outstanding!!!  Their background, knowledge, and experiences were a breath of fresh air. I left the conference feeling encouraged and motivated – wanting to provide education, care, and support to my community.”  – Andrea S.

AANH Conference - 2015“What an eye opening experience! The African-American Nursing History Conference increased my awareness about a host of health disparities among the African-American community. As a nurse, I feel it is extremely important to keep abreast of what issues are present within the community, and how I can contribute to correcting the problem. The speaker, Dr. Melvin Blanchard, gave a wonderful presentation. He began by explaining some of the causes for issues prevalent in the African-American community, such as heart failure, cancer, diabetes, etc.   In his words, “the root of the issue” is the onset of many harmful behaviors. He followed by what those habits lead to and finally ending with the final result. He called this “Roots, Trunk and Fruits.” I learned that by incorporating small, healthy steps into everyday life one can reverse the negative effects on their health and have a huge impact on future wellness.  It was such a wonderful experience; I hope that I can have the opportunity to go in the upcoming years.” – Ashley T.

AANH Conference - 2015“After attending the AAHN Conference, I was proud that I chose a career field that I can contribute to society in a positive way. It was such an honor to be in the presence of nurses who have many experiences in the field. The keynote speakers brought to light the issues that we as nurses have to be active advocates for in our communities and for our patients.” – Timira M.

AANH Conference - 2015“The conference was truly a pleasure to attend, packed with informative guest speakers and opportunity to network with others in the field of nursing and public health. The keynote speaker of the morning, Dr. Melvin Blanchard, was AWESOME, enlightening and kept everyone engaged in the topic, “Ask Not What Our Healthcare System Can Do For Us; Ask What We Can Do For Our Health.” His presentation was a reality check on where healthcare is headed in this country and how it affects us as a WHOLE! The breakout sessions which I attended were just as enlightening, and the groups of speakers towards the end of the day were just as impactful! It was an action packed day full of engaging speakers with tons of beneficial information that even brought us to laughter at times…which we learned was healthy & helps us burn additional calories! I’ll encourage my cohorts to attend next year’s conference in hopes of developing our cultural competence as we enter the practice of nursing, because we all serve the same patients and the conference addresses the concerns within OUR community!  – Melanie G.

Goldfarb School of Nursing installs three new leaders

By Joyce Romine

Recently installed Goldfarb School of Nursing chairs include, from left, Jean Davis, PhD, RN, Paul J. McKee Jr. Senior Associate Dean for Research; Gretchen Drinkard, PhD, RN, CNE, Jack Taylor Senior Associate Dean for Academic Affairs; and Gail Rea, PhD, RN, CNE, Barnes-Jewish Hospital Endowed Chair for Advanced Nursing. | Photo by Tim Parker

Recently installed Goldfarb School of Nursing chairs include, from left, Jean Davis, PhD, RN, Paul J. McKee Jr. Senior Associate Dean for Research; Gretchen Drinkard, PhD, RN, CNE, Jack Taylor Senior Associate Dean for Academic Affairs; and Gail Rea, PhD, RN, CNE, Barnes-Jewish Hospital Endowed Chair for Advanced Nursing. | Photo by Tim Parker

Three nurses have recently been installed in endowed chairs at Goldfarb School of Nursing at Barnes-Jewish College. The new chairs are:

– Jean Davis, PhD, RN, Paul J. McKee Jr. Senior Associate Dean for Research
– Gretchen Drinkard, PhD, RN, CNE, Jack Taylor Senior Associate Dean for Academic Affairs
– Gail Rea, PhD, RN, CNE, Barnes-Jewish Hospital Endowed Chair for Advanced Nursing

“Through these endowments, our generous donors to The Foundation for Barnes-Jewish Hospital have made an extraordinary investment in the Goldfarb School of Nursing,” says Michael Bleich, PhD, RN, Maxine Clark and Bob Fox Dean and Professor, and president of Barnes-Jewish College and Goldfarb School of Nursing. “We deeply appreciate their support that gives us the opportunity to recruit and retain top academic and research talent to serve the college and the community in a rapidly changing environment.

“The future of health care depends on our ability to bring the best and brightest into the health professions, particularly nurses,” Bleich adds. “The leadership positions at Goldfarb, expressed through these endowed chairs, will be the driving force behind attracting and educating the best students.”

The Barnes-Jewish Hospital Endowed Chair for Advanced Nursing is a newly created clinical endowed chair. Dr. Rea is the first to hold the chair.

“With breadth and depth of knowledge, each of the newly appointed chairs brings specific strengths in that they all have a solid commitment to making the next generation of nurses the best they can be,” Bleich says. “Dr. Davis has deep expertise in nursing science and will lead the college to exponential growth in research. Dr. Drinkard has extensive experience as both a nurse practitioner and a nurse educator to lead the academic enterprise. And Dr. Rea was a foremost leader in promoting evidence-based nursing practice, bridging science and practice. Together, they will play a significant role in leading nursing care into the future to benefit all patients.”

Advance your learning and develop as a leader

ImageFor more than 50 years, nurse practitioners have provided high quality, cost efficient patient care, establishing themselves as an integral component of the health care team. Their roles continue evolve in response to societal influences; in particular, expanded access to health care, provider shortages, the aging population and the trend of cost containment.

To address this evolution in health care, Goldfarb School of Nursing at Barnes-Jewish College offers the Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner (AGACNP) concentration, a master’s degree program for nurses with a minimum of two years’ recent critical care experience.

“Acute care nurse practitioners draw from their valuable experiences as bedside nurses and integrate the knowledge and skills acquired in their advanced nursing education into patient care,” says Beth Beyatte, director of the AGACNP program. “This is the next logical step for nurses interested in expanding their practice and maintaining close relationships with their patients by participating in the overall management of their illnesses.”

AGACNPs provide advanced nursing care in a variety of practice settings to adult and geriatric patients experiencing acute, critical, complex chronic health conditions. While many AGACNPs practice in hospitals in areas that include emergency departments, intensive care units and general patient care areas, they also work in specialty care, long-term acute care and ambulatory care settings. They are involved in all aspects of patient management, working collaboratively with physicians and other members of the health care team to stabilize patients, minimize complications and promote physical and psychological wellbeing.

Students in the Goldfarb AGACNP program gain hands-on clinical experience at Barnes-Jewish Hospital, one of the nation’s best hospitals. Unlike most schools, Goldfarb pre-arranges relationships with clinical sites and preceptors so students do not have to do this work on their own. “Preceptors and clinical sites can be a hot commodity for advanced practice nursing students. Securing them removes the responsibility from the students and allows them to concentrate on other aspects of their education. Our students learn from top-notch advanced practice nursing providers, physicians and other members of the health care team. I feel confident they are receiving the best nursing that medicine has to offer,” Beyatte says.

The 27-month sequential program includes small, face-to-face classes. Students establish a strong connection with faculty, who actively practice in the clinical setting. Specialty courses provide an in-depth review of system-specific health problems commonly seen in the acute care setting. They also offer students the opportunity to hone their skills in ECG and radiology interpretation and perform invasive procedures in Goldfarb’s technologically advanced simulation center.

Graduates of the program are prepared to assume the many responsibilities associated with the role of the AGACNP nurse and the demands of the patient population. “There are always opportunities for growth and leadership as an AGACNP,” Beyatte says. “The possibilities are endless.”

If you’re ready to advance your learning and develop as a leader in your field, apply for Goldfarb’s AGACNP program. Apply online at or contact the admissions office by phone at 314-454-7057 or by email at