Timber by EMSIEN-3 LTD

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University of Central Oklahoma grad Claire Creecy, RN, BSN, is a surgical circulator for Integris Edmond.

by Bobby Anderson, RN, Staff Writer

More than a decade went by before Claire Creecy, RN, BSN, truly understood her passion.
It was somewhere during the time Creecy’s husband was pursuing his master’s degree that something made Creecy want to go back to school.
And not just any school. She decided nursing school would be her next step.
Nursing was career No. 2 for Creecy, who worked at a veterinary clinic for eight years as an office manager.
With a couple years experience as a scrub tech Creecy felt a calling back to the hospital setting.
And nearly two years after graduation and countless hours in the ORs at Integris Edmond, Creecy can finally say she’s happy getting up and going to work every morning.
Creecy has heard the old joke that surgical nurses choose the operating suite because they prefer their patients sedated.
“It’s not true for me,” she laughed. “This morning we’re actually doing eyes and pain cases. I enjoy those cases because we get to talk to patients more than most days. I enjoy surgery and I enjoy being in surgery with the community of people in that room.”
“You either love surgery or you hate it. It will (eat you alive). Here at Integris Edmond we have four ORs and everyone works together fairly well. Once you get in with them they’re good. The surgeons are great surgeons.”
Going back to school was a challenge. Two young kids, working a full-time job and going back for a second bachelor’s degree meant Creecy was burning both ends of the candle.
The first semester almost did her in.
“It was harder than others because I had to wrap myself around being in school again and finding a good balance,” Creecy said. “But I enjoyed nursing so the work was interesting to me. I was always happy to go to clinicals. Once I got back into ‘oh, I’m back in school again’ it was good. I enjoyed it.”
Knowing she wouldn’t see her kids for days at a time was rough. But she pushed through.
It got easier along the way.
Creecy’s two young children and a husband who teaches in the forensic science department at UCO made her want stay close to home for her first nursing job.
“I did my clinicals with Integris and really enjoyed it just the structure and the feel about it and wanted to come back,” she said.
Finding a day shift position was also paramount. And something about working in a facility nestled just off the highway on 44 acres filled with hills and trees just seemed right.
“I’m happy to be out here. I love this hospital. It’s a great community,” she said. “Everyone works together and everyone talks, which is not always the case wherever you’re at.”
Creecy’s five-year plan includes staying right where she is.
Last June Integris announced its plan to more than double the size of the hospital to include 64 new inpatient beds.
The expansion will take the existing hospital up to five stories at the 4801 Integris Parkway location.
More than 143,000 square feet of additional place is planned in three different sections of the hospital giving the facility some 304,000 square feet of total space.
Integris Edmond currently operates 40 inpatient beds with 24 surgical rooms.
It’s where Creecy comes to feel whole.
“I think just knowing I’m going to come and make a difference,” she said of her job. “You don’t always see the end product because you don’t always see them after they recover from that surgery. But knowing you’re a part of making that patient feel so much better – sometimes immediately if their pain is that bad … it’s pretty gratifying.”
And the process has benefited the whole family.
Seeing their dad earn his PhD and then mom going back to school to become a nurse has given the Creecy children an invaluable life lesson.
“They appreciated how hard it is to work for something you want and I think that was an important lesson for them,” she said. “And to see we both enjoy our jobs and education got us to a place where we enjoy our jobs.”

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Jane Nelson, Executive Director of Oklahoma Nurses Association

by Jane Nelson, Executive Director of Oklahoma Nurses Association

Most Oklahomans are aware that registered nurses are in high workforce demand in Oklahoma and the nation. RNs are at the top of the list of the state’s “critical occupations” according to Oklahoma Works. What isn’t as well known is while there is high demand for all RNs, increasingly hospitals, clinics and other health organizations have acute shortages of baccalaureate-trained nurses. The Oklahoma Nurses Association has long been a supporter of registered nurses with a bachelor of science in nursing (BSN). Only 44 percent of the RN workforce holds a BSN.
A report on the nursing shortage by the Governor’s Workforce Council provides strong evidence that new graduates holding a BSN are being highly sought by employers. The state’s acute care hospitals are especially focused on hiring BSN-prepared registered nurses.
Research shows patient outcomes are improved and patient deaths reduced when the nursing staff holds a BSN. Our increasing complexity of technology, medications and treatments, and chronic health conditions underscores the need for nurses to continue their education. Coupled with the shift toward providing care in home-based settings instead of institutions, BSNs will be better equipped to meet this population’s needs.
Advanced education and experience are required for nurses to serve as faculty in nursing education settings, which means that they have a BSN before pursing a master’s or doctoral degree. Lack of faculty prevents significant numbers of potential students from being admitted to nursing programs.
The Governor’s Workforce Council has been exploring ways to not only increase the number of RNs but also increase the number of BSN registered nurses. This includes building more efficient academic and career pathways for associate degree nurses to advance to the BSN.
Fifty percent of the 2,375 RN graduates reported in the FY 2017 Oklahoma Board of Nursing Report are BSN graduates. Losing this group of new graduates would cause a huge strain on the nursing workforce in our state. Oklahoma is ranked 46th in the number of registered nurses per 100,000 people. Our nursing education programs already are stretched. There are 15 BSN programs delivered on 25 campuses and 17 associate degree nursing programs delivered on 29 campuses.
A number of national groups, including the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the National Advisory Council on Nurse Education and Practice, and the Institute of Medicine endorse increasing the number of BSN nurses to 80 percent. The Oklahoma Nurses Association supports these findings and supports a strategy to move associate degree nurses to BSNs.
Associate degree-prepared RNs are important in Oklahoma, but let’s not get rid of our baccalaureate nurse programs just yet. Our state would be in dire straits with the elimination of these important education programs.

Changing Lives for the better, together.
It is what we do. And, it is who we are. Join us!

At Hillcrest, our goal is to Change Lives for the better, together. Hillcrest Hospital – South provides state-of-the-art technology in an easy-to-navigate community setting.
Our 180-bed facility offers a wide range of inpatient and outpatient services, including maternity, cardiology, emergency, orthopedics and surgery.
Hillcrest Hospital – South is committed to evidence-based medicine and our results speak for themselves.



· CVOR ICU Nights
· Cath Lab SDU Nights
· Med/Surg All Shifts NICU Nights

Hillcrest South offers:
• Sign-On Bonuses For Experienced & New RNs
• A Competitive Compensation Package
• Excellent Benefits
• Friendly & Collaborative Environment
• Opportunities For Advancement
• Tuition Reimbursement

Apply at www.hillcresthospitalsouthjobs.com
or call HR at 918-294-4866 if you have any questions.

Hillcrest Hospital South
8801 S. 101st East Ave.
Tulsa, OK 74133

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Kelly Acosta, LPN has been with Oklahoma City Indian Clinic for almost a year AND works for Natalie Knight, P.A. Family Practice.

by Vickie Jenkins – Writer/Photographer

Oklahoma City Indian Clinic was established in 1974 to meet the health needs of Native Americans living in the Oklahoma City urban area. The clinic was originally located downtown, where it operated for over 20 years. In fact, during the aftermath of the Oklahoma City Bombing on April 19, 1995, the Indian clinic staffers were some of the first responders who gave aid to injured victims. In 1995 the clinic moved to its current location 4913 West Reno. At that time, the clinic operated with a staff of less than 40, and a budget of less than three million. Since then, the clinic has grown to include a staff of more than 130 health care professionals who serve more than 50,000 outpatient visitors each year and contributes over 14 million to the Oklahoma City and state economics.
Kelly Acosta, LPN has been a nurse for two years and has been with Oklahoma City Indian Clinic for almost a year. Kelly works for Natalie Knight, P.A. Family Practice. “I love working here. The doctors, nurses and staff are always so nice. They will help someone out every chance they get,” Kelly commented.
Kelly grew up in Apache, Oklahoma. She remembers when she was six years old, helping take care of her grandfather. “That is when I knew that someday I would be a nurse. I actually came from a family of nurses. My grandmother was a nurse; I have three aunts that are nurses and a niece that is a Physical Therapist. They all live in Oklahoma City. My grandmother always told me, ‘Go to school, learn a trade, get a job, and succeed in life and never give up. I guess I thought about being a nurse ever since then. I feel like my grandmother had such an influence on me and that means so much,” she said.
What qualities make a good nurse? “I think a nurse needs to have plenty of patience, be caring, and have the ability to feel empathy and to be able to interrelate with people.”
Kelly’s favorite part of her job is working with her people, the Native Americans. “I am Native American and ever since I became a nurse, I knew that I wanted to work here at the Oklahoma City Indian Clinic. I love the fact that I can relate to the patients and they know that I am going to do my best for them,” Kelly said. “My biggest challenge with my job is time management. Sometimes, it seems like I run out of time with too many project going on, but I always seem to manage.”
What advice would you give to someone going into the medical field? “I would tell them that being a nurse is a wonderful opportunity. There are many fields that a nurse can choose from and it seems like no matter where you go, there is always a job available for a nurse. Some more advice that I would give them is to tell them to go for it! Go to college, study hard and you will succeed. Also, become a nurse when you are young, if you are able to,” Kelly replied.
Kelly’s hobbies include working in her vegetable garden, sewing, and anything she can do outside. “I love the outdoors. Plus it keeps me busy with my two dogs, Dee, my Chihuahua, and Penny, my Miniature Pincher.”
Asking Kelly to describe herself, she said, “Well, people tell me that I am a really nice person. I am caring to others and always treat them with respect. I am a fun-loving person with a positive attitude. I do not like to dwell on the negative side of things. I think it is very import to stay positive and get along with others, keeping the peace.”
If you were not a nurse, and had another job profession, what would it be? “I worked as a pharmacy technician at Walmart so I would have to say, a Pharmacy Tech,” she said with a laugh.
A big recognition for Kelly is when Francis Tuttle Technology Center presented her with the award, Nurse with The Most Caring Attitude. Your genuine love and positive attitude is obvious! Congratulations Kelly!


INTEGRIS Community Hospitals

Now Hiring at ALL Locations
Council Crossing • Moore • OKC West • Del City

• ER Registered Nurse
• Inpatient Registered Nurse
• ER Technicians
• CT/Radiology Technologists
• Patient Access Specialists

Full-Time and PRN positions available
Competitive Salaries

APPLY NOW at INTEGRIScommunityhospital.com

INTEGRIS and Emerus are joint venture partners in INTEGRIS Community Hospitals. Emerus is the operating partner and hospital team members at the community hospital locations will be employees of Emerus Holdings, Inc., a national network of hospital partners and largest operator of micro-hospitals.

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Q. I am 36, divorced twice, a child from each marriage and I am dating again. I had a serious relationship after my second divorce that ended badly but that did not slow me down. I can’t be without “love” from a man. My friend said “I am addicted to love.” Is that possible? –Janice

“The men I choose, as it turns out, were not good for me. Their love was a mixed bag of intense highs followed by terrible lows. I usually ended up feeling worse but when I felt loved — it was exhilarating. The list of reasons why I should leave was always longer than why I should stay. I stayed because I loved him and he loved me. He didn’t mean to lie, have sex with other women and push me occasionally. He was tired and didn’t mean it.”
“My serious relationship after my second divorce had some big red flags and I prided myself on getting out before I invested too much of myself. My friends were relieved BUT it didn’t last — I went back; to those times of feeling loved and cared about, offset by his control and possessiveness. When I felt loved by him — it was perfect!! I was perfect!!”
So Tiffany, here are some treatment suggestions:
1. RUN, don’t walk to the nearest 12 step Codependents Anonymous (CODA) meeting.
2. Find a therapist and begin some intense individual therapy.
3. Take “your addiction” recovery ONE DAY AT A TIME!
“Addicted to Love” by Robert Palmer

Vicki L Mayfield, M.Ed., R.N., LMFT Marriage and Family Therapy Oklahoma City

If you would like to send a question to Vicki, email us at news@okcnursingtimes.com

Join Oklahoma’s largest healthcare network.

$10,000 sign-on bonus for experienced RNs.*

Saint Francis Health System is Oklahoma’s largest healthcare provider, delivering a
comprehensive range of high-quality services from more than 90 locations throughout eastern
Oklahoma. As a nurse, you can find the career opportunity you’ve been looking for, including
the benefits and scheduling flexibility you want, and the patient-focused environment you need
to excel in your profession.

Why now is a great time to join our team:
• $10,000 sign-on bonus and relocation assistance for experienced RNs*
• Great benefits, including paid time off, tuition assistance, medical and dental insurance, retirement plans, on-site childcare, adoption benefits and more
• We are a qualified not-for-profit organization, so you may be eligible for federal student loan forgiveness**
• With hospital campuses and Warren Clinic locations throughout eastern Oklahoma, we offer opportunities in virtually any nursing capacity

Saint Francis Health System includes:
• Saint Francis Hospital
• The Children’s Hospital at Saint Francis
• Warren Clinic
• The Heart Hospital at Saint Francis
• Saint Francis Hospital South
• Laureate Psychiatric Clinic and Hospital
• Saint Francis Hospital Muskogee
• Saint Francis Hospital Vinita
• Saint Francis Cancer Center
• Saint Francis Glenpool

Explore nursing opportunities with Saint Francis Health System today.
To view our current openings, please visit saintfrancis.com/nursing.
For more information, please call 918-502-8300 or toll-free 800-888-9553.

*Applies to registered nurses in select patient units with at least two years of nursing experience. Two-year work commitment
**View program details at studentaid.ed.gov.
EOE Protected Veterans/Disability

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kicks off new Baby Cafe location

Presbyterian Health Foundation made the year end holidays much brighter for the Coalition of Oklahoma Breastfeeding Advocates (COBA). The Oklahoma City based foundation granted $2,500 in funds to support COBA’s Baby Cafe, a nationally acclaimed, community-based breastfeeding support program offered in Oklahoma City.
COBA’s Baby Cafe welcomes breastfeeding mothers and families semimonthly to receive support from trained lactation professionals free of charge. The gathering is café style; an open forum where mothers and families can share experiences and enjoy a healthy meal in a warm environment.
For new mothers, the seemingly simple task of feeding their babies can be surprisingly difficult. While every major medical organization recommends full breastfeeding for at least one year, too many mothers do not have the support they need to overcome the challenges they encounter.
In Oklahoma, women of color in particular face historical, cultural, and social barriers to breastfeeding. While 70% of minority women initiate breastfeeding, just 7% make it to six months. The same families that are most at risk to lose a child before his or her first birthday are also the families least likely to have the protection of breastfeeding to reduce that risk.
COBA, also an Oklahoma City based nonprofit, is a volunteer driven organization working to improve the health and well being of Oklahoma’s infants and families.
“We are comprised of 100% volunteers, and we run on passion,” said Rebecca Mannel, COBA Chair. “We are committed to improving maternal/infant health in Oklahoma through breastfeeding education, outreach, and advocacy, so we have made this particular disparity in health an advocacy priority and are so thankful to PHF for supporting this effort.”
COBA launched Baby Café initially with grant funding from two national health organizations in 2014. As federal funding for this area of need ended, COBA began seeking other funding sources to support its sole Baby Cafe, and has plans to launch more locations in OKC and Tulsa. Funds donated to this program pay for professional lactation services, breastfeeding supplies, meeting space, and healthy meals.
“A proven way to help mothers and families successfully breastfeed is to offer programs that strengthen mother-to-mother support,” said Rachel Nelson, Baby Café Committee Chair. “Studies show that mothers talking with other breastfeeding mothers helps new moms decide to start, and most importantly continue, breastfeeding.”
To celebrate the recent opening of its new location, COBA will host a Baby Café Grand Opening Celebration at Cole Community Center in Oklahoma City on Saturday, Feb. 2, from 12:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. This kid friendly, come and go event will also be COBA’s first meeting of the year. Refreshments will be provided, and all who support breastfeeding are welcome.

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Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation scientist Rheal Towner, Ph.D.

Glioblastoma is an aggressive form of brain cancer with no cure. Even with surgery and chemotherapy, patients typically live only 12-18 months after diagnosis.
But a new discovery from Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation scientist Rheal Towner, Ph.D., offers new hope in fighting this deadly cancer, which claimed the lives of Sens. John McCain and Ted Kennedy.
In pre-clinical experiments at OMRF, Towner discovered that a protein called ELTD1 is present in the most aggressive glioblastoma tumors. Towner then tested how the tumors would react to an antibody known to counteract the effects of ELTD1.
He found that the compound slowed the process of angiogenesis, the growth of new blood vessels, which is key to tumors’ ability to spread and kill.
“This drug seems just as promising, if not better than, what is currently considered the standard of care,” said Towner. “Few therapies exist for treating glioblastoma, but this could provide a step in the right direction.”
If proven effective in further trials, said Towner, “This could provide overall treatment with fewer side effects and better results than we see in current drugs.”
The new findings were published in the journal NeuroOncology.
Towner will continue to look for ways to use the new treatment in combination with other drugs to boost their effectiveness and better target tumors.
“One problem with drug treatments for tumors is that it’s hard to get the drug to the tumor site,” he said. “If we can regulate that process with targeting ELTD1, we might be able to use it to deliver other drugs directly to the tumor and, hopefully, eliminate it.”
If researchers succeed with this tumor-targeting method, Towner said they will begin testing it on other tumors associated with breast, pancreatic or other cancers.
Funding for this research was provided by National Institute of General Medical Sciences, grant number 5P20GM103636-02, and Institutional Development Award (IDeA) from the NIGMS, grant number 5P20GM103639. The NIGMS is part of the National Institutes of Health.

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Your one-stop resource for all of the breastfeeding basics. We will go over everything you need to know—from buying that first nursing bra to deciding when to wean. Attending class will allow expectant mothers to be more prepared for breastfeeding when baby is born.
The class is free for mothers who will be delivering at AllianceHelath Midwest. The class is $10 for mothers who are planning to deliver elsewhere. Payment is due at time of class.
**Please register for only one “ticket” for the mother-to-be. A support person is welcome, but does NOT require a ticket for registration. You can register here; https://www.eventbrite.com/e/breastfeeding-class-tickets-53764339587?AFF=alliancehealth-organic-traffic
Class will be: Saturday, February 9, 2019 from 1:00 PM – 4:00 PM (CST). There is no charge for the class. Class will be at Alliance Health Medical Group, 1800 South Douglas Boulevard in Midwest City.

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The 12th Annual Faith Community Nurses’ Association Conference title is “When Disaster Hits: The Role of the Faith Community.” The conference will educate the Faith Community Nurse and church leaders to organize and build capacity for the church to respond to local and regional disasters. Disaster is a “given” in Oklahoma. Faith Communities are affected directly and indirectly by these disasters. The message of Psalm 57, Have mercy on me, my God, have mercy on me, in you I take refuge. I will take refuge in the shadow of your wings until the disaster has passed, sets the stage for reflecting and mobilizing resources when disaster hits. This conference will provide resources, contacts and information needed to assist congregants during times of disaster and the opportunity for participants to network and to build relationships with nurses and health ministers interested in Faith Community Nursing.
Registration for the one-day FCNA OK Member $60 for payments received before 2/8/19. 2/9-2/22 $85; 2/22 and later $105. Non FCNA OK Member $90 for payments received before 2/8/19. 2/8-2/22 $120; 2/22 and later $135. Nursing students $60. Clergy $65 for payments received before 2/16/18. 2/9-2/22 $90; 2/22 and later $110. Refunds before 2/8/19 less $20 deposit. No refunds after February 8, 2019. FCNA OK is approved as a provider of continuing nursing education by the Kansas State Board of Nursing. This course is approved for 8.25 contact hours applicable for APRN, RN, LPN, or LMHT relicensure. Kansas State Board of Nursing provider number LT0298-0316, KAR 60-7-107 (b)(3)(C).
For registration and brochure, see the FCNA website, downloads page: www.fcnaok.org or register at www.surveymonkey.com/r/LNG3BBV and pay by www.PayPal.me/FCNAOK or contact fcnaok@gmail.com.