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Award for Excellence in Nursing Education Given to Monmouth Faculty Member

WEST LONG BRANCH, N.J. — (Oct. 19, 2016) — Monmouth University Assistant Professor of Nursing Cheryl Leiningen, D.N.P., R.N., A.N.P.-C., is the co-recipient of the Alumni Award of the Edmond J. Safra Visiting Nurse Faculty Program at the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation for outstanding work in nursing education. She received the award with Laura Kelly, Ph.D., R.N., A.N.P.-C. Leiningen and Kelly were selected in recognition of their leadership and innovation in nursing education to improve care of Parkinson’s patients.

Leiningen is assistant professor in the Monmouth School of Nursing and Health Studies and Kelly is associate professor and program director at Columbia University. Both also maintain clinical nursing practices. After completing the Edmond J. Safra Visiting Nurse Faculty Program at the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation in 2015, they worked to translate their experiences into new educational tools to assist nursing students in a deeper understanding of the Parkinson’s patient.

The pair developed an interactive component for their nursing curriculums that takes nursing students through the journey of a person with Parkinson’s and their care partner as they cope with a new diagnosis. Throughout the activity, they are introduced to the complexities of Parkinson’s — motor and non-motor symptoms, medication management, nutrition, home safety, care partner stress, adaptive equipment and resources — and the role that nurses can play in helping people to cope and live well. Leiningen and Kelly presented their work on this tool in September at the World Parkinson Congress.

“When I was an undergraduate nursing student, my textbook included exactly one sentence on Parkinson’s and years later, I found that not much had changed. But now, because of the efforts of educators like Drs. Kelly and Leiningen, we can be hopeful for a different kind of future for nursing care in Parkinson’s,” said Gwyn Vernon, M.S.N., R.N., C.R.N.P., national director of the Safra program.

The Edmond J. Safra Visiting Nurse Faculty Program at the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation has trained more than 190 nurse faculty, who work with approximately 18,000 undergraduate nursing students each year.