CSM Faculty, Student Receive Honors from Maryland Nursing Association


            At the College of Southern Maryland Nursing Recognition ceremony May 16, CSM Health Sciences Division Chair Dr. Laura Polk referenced the 2013 spring class quote by author Maya Angelou, saying, “People will forget what you said. People will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” Polk understands well the emotional impact of one’s actions having recently been named nurse of the year by the Maryland Nurses Association (MNA) District 9 for her professionalism, performance and excellence in nursing. Also receiving recognition from the MNA District 9were Nursing Professor Rose Miller, Assistant Professor and Clinical Simulation Coordinator Linda Goodman and nursing graduate Travis Roberts.  


MNA District 9 Nurse of the Year Award Recipient Dr. Laura Polk

            “The Nurse of the Year Award is among the most prestigious awards given and we are very proud of the public recognition given to Laura Polk for the incredible work she does to advance the nursing profession in Southern Maryland,” said CSM Vice President of Academic Affairs Dr. Sue Subocz. “Her dedication to the nursing program here at CSM makes a major difference in our region by allowing opportunities for students to advance in a rigorous yet supportive environment.”

            Polk has co-authored or managed grants of more than $2 million that provide essential resources to promote nursing education in Southern Maryland.

As a leader within the nursing community, Polk serves as a nursing program site visitor for the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) and is a peer reviewer for the International Journal of Nursing Terminologies and Classification. Polk is an active member of several professional nursing and/or nurse leader organizations, and as an academic leader, she works on 11 CSM committees.

            As a leader in the Southern Maryland community, Polk serves as a judge for the biomedical science program grant presentations at La Plata High School, is an advisory council member for biomedical sciences programs in Charles and Calvert counties and serves on the Partnership for a Healthier Charles County.

            “Laura’s commitment to stay up-to-date with advances in learning/instructional strategies and trends in education helps her as an instructor and provides a clear example of how she serves as a role model. She’s a leader and advocate within the state nursing community and in our Southern Maryland community. Laura’s optimistic and cheerful attitude carries across non-nursing activities, too, such as her volunteer work with Girls Scouts of America, Destination Imagination, Safe Nights, Angel Watch and food pantries,” said CSM Nursing Retention Coordinator Liz Benson.

            Polk received her bachelor’s degree in nursing from Georgetown University, and her master’s in nursing and doctor of nursing degrees from The Catholic University of America.

            Polk told those gathered for the Nursing Recognition Event that many years ago she had a very young patient with a brain tumor who found comfort from rubbing her hands on Polk’s stockings. “It may have been one of the strangest nursing interventions I’ve ever done. [Jessica] couldn’t focus on words or other high-tech interventions, but what she never forgot was how I made her feel—safe, comforted and loved by the simple act of wearing stockings when I took care of her,” said Polk. “This is not a job where you get to go in for your eight- or 12-hour shift for the day and then dismiss everything and clock out. It’s not a uniform that you can choose to put on or take off. It is not just what you do, it is who you are. You have become nurses. So, I challenge you to think very creatively in your practice; don’t just use ordinary nursing interventions. People are going to forget what you said. They are going to forget what you did, but they are not going to forget how you made them feel. You will never find ‘wearing stockings’ as the correct answer on an NCLEX (National Council Licensure Examination) exam, but there I was using it for Jessica because it was the right thing to do.”


Grace E. Brown Nurse Educator Award Recipient Rose Miller

The Grace E. Brown Nurse Educator Award was presented to CSM Nursing Professor Rose Miller, MSN, MPA for her 28 years as a nurse educator.

“With more than 34 years of experience as a registered nurse, Rose is strongly focused on the success of her nursing students,” said Polk.

Miller earned Certified Nurse Educator status in 2009 and holds multiple certifications as a leader in the specialty area of academic quality assurance in Quality Matters (QM), including Quality Matters Professional and Continuing Education, Quality Matters Publisher Reviewer, Quality Matters Master Reviewer and Quality Matters Peer Reviewer.

“Every element of a caring, competent instructor is evident in Professor Miller’s classroom, lab and clinical teaching. She comfortably networks with faculty members and staff in our division and in others. She is an outstanding role model and nurse educator using unique and innovative teaching techniques. Her willingness to use every new technology tool at her disposal and to identify student needs provides opportunities for students to develop the skills and critical thinking necessary for success,” said Polk.

Miller received her associate’s degree in nursing from George C. Wallace State Community College, her bachelor’s degree in nursing from Troy State University, her Master of Public Affairs (MPA) degree from Auburn University and her Master of Nursing (MSN) degree from the University of Alabama.


Grace E. Brown Scholarship Award for Advanced Practice Recipient Linda Goodman

The Grace E. Brown Scholarship Award (Advanced Practice) was presented to CSM Assistant Professor and Clinical Simulation Coordinator Linda Goodman to provide assistance as she pursues completion of her MSN.

“Linda freely admits that furthering her education was not her idea or initial direction but that working alongside the faculty at CSM energized her to return to school,” said Polk.  

Each semester, Goodman mentors a clinical group in the nursing home setting in addition to managing the clinical simulation program. Long-term care is her first passion and she finds teaching first semester nursing students in the nursing home setting exciting and rewarding, she said.

Goodman, past legislative liaison for District 9 to MNA, is active with numerous advisory boards in Southern Maryland including North Point and La Plata high schools. She has presented at the International Nursing Association for Clinical Simulation in Nursing and at the Annual Caregivers Conference in Southern Maryland.

Goodman earned her bachelor’s degree in nursing from the University of Phoenix and is pursuing her MSN at Stevenson University.


Nursing Student of the Year Travis Roberts
            The MNA District 9 Nursing Student of the Year Award was given to Travis Roberts, of La Plata, a winter 2013 nursing graduate and a military veteran. The award is presented to an outstanding student of nursing graduating from the MNA District Nurses Association 9 area. Roberts was nominated based on his academic achievement, clinical practice, and community and school involvement.

“Travis is a strong clinician and his high overall GPA, specifically in nursing courses, demonstrates his clear understanding of the theory essential to making good clinical judgments.  He demonstrates the valuable characteristics of caring and compassion in his delivery of care,” said Nursing Professor Lynn Kennedy who added that his quiet, professional demeanor provides an excellent example for his peers. “Travis is a model student and demonstrates his commitment to learning by taking responsibility for his own learning needs and assisting others by sharing his study techniques with his colleagues. He was always willing to lend a hand with anything that needed to be done on the clinical floor. The consistent high level of performance Travis set for himself led his clinical group to be the best they could be,” Kennedy said. 

Roberts is a member of Phi Theta Kappa Honors Society and was a founding member of CSM’s National Society of Leadership and Success. He organized a coat drive at CSM that collected more than 100 coats for local charities. He managed his participation in these organizations while he was a full-time nursing student and working 25 to 30 hours a week.

With his award he received membership to the American Nurses Association and MNA.

For more on CSM’s Nursing Recognition Event, visit http://www.csmd.edu/news/archive/2013/fa55bfde51bf716125dd2043813c12d46c6b8ec4.html.