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March 2016 Vol. 3 No. 1


In This Issue 

From the Oregon AWHONN Chair

The Measure of a Nurse is the Person She Is

by Nancy Irland, DNP, RN, CNM

Hello, fellow Oregon AWHONN members. It is an honor to serve as your new Oregon AWHONN section chair for the next two years. Deb Castile leaves some big shoes to fill, and I begin with thanks to her and her team. They have made Oregon AWHONN a strong and successful professional group that is admired by National AWHONN in Washington, DC. I intend to have fun in this role, and the committee members have already made sure we do that! We will have fun at the conference in September too, so make sure you’re there!

Everyone has an agenda, and here’s mine: I would like to eliminate the power distance we sometimes feel in nursing between our levels of education; the “haves” and the “have nots.” While I support continuing education and have encouraged several nurses to get their BSN, I would like us all to respect the fact that in the end, we all take the same nursing boards. How amazing is that? It should level the playing field.

This has been a personal issue for me. I was an ADN nurse for the first 25 years of my 44-year perinatal career. Throughout that time, some of my BSN colleagues would remark they weren’t sure if I should be writing policies or serving on hospital committees. Sometimes I felt they thought of me as a moron. On one occasion, one of them remarked she was amazed at my decision-making skills because I was “…. just a 2-year.”

Wanting more options in my 40s (and, I’ll admit, wanting to prove to myself that I could do it), I returned to school and earned a BSN through the University of Portland’s RN-BSN program. The insights were amazing! I learned that I practiced by the self-care nursing theory of Dorothea Orem. Such validation! I was fascinated by ethics, and learned how I could do research. My understanding of things not directly patient-care related expanded. I went right on to midwifery school at OHSU and became a nurse-midwife. More insights followed, including the fact that while my nurse colleagues were drinking coffee, they were being paid; I would not be paid until I completed the delivery and got back to the office!

I enjoyed a private midwifery practice for 5 years until the paralyzing snowboard injury and death of my son David in 2000 and 2001 took away my tolerance of legal risk. As a result, I closed my practice and took a position as a Clinical Development Specialist at Salem Hospital. I was happy there, but felt an inner drive to follow my dream of being a professor.

When I sought new options as a professor, the colleges told me I was “…just Master’s-prepared” and didn’t have a Doctorate. That seemed like my next hurdle. So, in my 50s, I pursued and earned a Doctor of Nursing Practice from OHSU in 2012. Inside, I’m still me, the 2-year nurse who took great care of her patients, gosh darn it, and has since learned to understand the gears of nursing leadership better. In March, I will begin my new role as a professor in the online RN-BSN program for Northwest Christian University, in Eugene. Dream accomplished, thanks to going back to school!

My wish is that while those of us with advanced degrees encourage those without them to go back to school, let’s not turn our educational differences into class struggles. Let’s not be in competition with each other. Our employers might need to look at that, but let’s not do it to each other.

The measure of a nurse is not how many years she or he has spent in school, but the kind of person she is. Is she careful? Discerning? Does she seek solid reasons for her practice? Then she’s a professional. Education opens new doors and teaches us new ways to think; it doesn’t change who we are at the core. Wear whatever level of education you have with pride, for you are an obstetric, women’s health or neonatal nurse — the very best specialties of all! §

Member Spotlight

Member Spotlight: Sharon Baker

In 2015, Oregon AWHONN was the Every Woman, Every Baby Section Challenge Winner for greatest participation rate in donations. For winning the challenge, we received one free national AWHONN Convention registration, which went to our very own Sharon Baker. “I would not have otherwise been able to go to the Convention,” said Sharon. Read more of her story at §

Neonatal Practice Update

The Year in Review: Top Neonatal Topics of 2015

by Pat Scheans, DNP, NNP-BC

Zika virus

Reports emerged of thousands of babies with congenital microcephaly and other abnormalities of the brain and eye that are strongly suspected to be due to maternal infection with Zika virus. It is primarily transmitted by Aedes aegypti mosquitoes, which are found throughout the Americas. Zika infections are often asymptomatic; 20% exhibit fever, rash, joint/muscle pain, conjunctivitis and headache. The incubation period is days to a week; viremia lasts around a week. Restriction of travel, protection from mosquito bites, and condom use if male partners have/are at risk for Zika virus infection have all been recommended to prevent maternal infection. Several counties have advocated for delaying childbearing until the epidemic is over. Fortunately, there is no evidence that a fetus conceived after maternal viremia has resolved would be at risk for fetal infection.

CDC MMWR (February 5, 2016). Update: Interim Guidelines for Health Care Providers Caring for Pregnant Women and Women of Reproductive Age with Possible Zika Virus Exposure United States, 2016 Early Release. 65(05);1-6 . Retrieved February 6, 2016 from

Dextrose 40% Gel for Neonatal Hypoglycemia

The Sugar Babies Study data and recommendations were published in the pediatric research literature in 2011 and the Lancet in 2014, but 2015 seemed to be when Listservs for RNs and pharmacists lit up with discussion of an accessible, easy to administer intervention for neonatal hypoglycemia: buccal administration of 40% dextrose gel. A poster presentation at the 2015 AWHONN conference described duplication of the results, and the practice is gaining favor rapidly.

Bennett, C., Fagan, E., Chaharbakhshi, E., Zamfirova, I., & Flicker, J. (2016). Implementing a protocol using glucose gel to treat neonatal hypoglycemia. Nursing for Women’s Health, 20(1), 64-74. DOI:

Bennett, C., Headtke, E., & Rowe-Telow, M. (2015). Use of Dextrose Gel Reverses Neonatal Hypoglycemia and Decreases Admissions to the NICU. Journal of Obstetric, Gynecologic, & Neonatal Nursing, 44(s1), S52-S53.

Harris, D. L., Weston, P. J., Signal, M., Chase, J. G., & Harding, J. E. (2014). Dextrose gel for neonatal hypoglycaemia (the Sugar Babies Study): a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. The Lancet, 382(9910), 2077-2083. doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(13)61645-1


“Oregon is known for many things: natural beauty, coffee, beer and pinot noir. Did you know that Oregon is also known for syphilis?” Yes, indeed, rates in Oregon have increased more than 1,000% since 2007, and cases of congenital syphilis which usually run 0 to 1 per year were 4 times that. Be alert, and provide guidance to your patients to be careful out there. The SyphAware website is where the quote came from and where to go for details:

Oregon Health Authority. (2015). Syphilis in Oregon. Retrieved February 6, 2016 from §

Women's Health Update

A Letter from Your Women’s Health Liaison

by Kara Johnson, DNP, RNC-OB, CNS

Hello Oregon AWHONN members. My name is Kara Johnson and I am your new Evidence-Based Liaison — Women’s Health. I have 15 years of experience working as a Staff Nurse, Charge Nurse, Clinical Educator, and Clinical Nurse Specialist in labor and delivery, antepartum, postpartum, and women’s health. Currently, I work at Kaiser Sunnyside Medical Center in Clackamas, Oregon as a Perinatal Clinical Nurse Specialist.

I graduated from the University of Washington with my BSN. In June of 2014, I obtained a Master in Nursing/Perinatal Clinical Nurse Specialist degree and in December of 2015, I completed my Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree from the University of Washington in Seattle, Washington. I am certified in inpatient obstetrics, teach NRP and ACLS OB, and I am a course coordinator for the Northwest Perinatal Resource Network (NWPRN) consortium.

My passion and focus is to support clinical staff with current research and training so they can provide compassionate, quality, and evidence-based care to patients and families throughout their entire pregnancy and birth experience.

I have been married for 17 years and have a daughter, 13, and a son, 10. My hobbies include boating, reading, skiing, and travel. I look forward to joining the Oregon AWHONN leadership team.

Please feel free to contact me at [email protected]. §


Save the Date for the 2016 Oregon AWHONN Conference

Oregon AWHONN is pleased to announce details for the 2016 Oregon AWHONN Fall Conference! This year we will be holding our conference at the beautiful Oregon Garden Resort in Silverton, Oregon! The dates are September 25th - 27th, 2016. We will again provide a pre-conference session on the first day (9/25), then the main conference on 9/26 and 9/27. The conference planning committee is hard at work finalizing topics and speakers that will be timely & relevant for you & your nursing practice. Please watch for more details in the near future! §

Oregon AWHONN News

Email Address Changes

Here at Oregon AWHONN, we value open lines of communication. We want you to know that your leadership team is always available to you to answer any questions that you may have or to hear your suggestions for improving the value of your Oregon AWHONN membership. Please note our new email addresses on our website at You can also submit questions or comments on our webpage at §

A big part of nursing is teamwork and comaraderie. Without these things, we wouldn’t be able to take care of our patients as well as we do. As a growing and evolving profession, that means our teams are always changing with new nurses. This year, Oregon AWHONN’s leadership team has evolved with changes in positions and new leaders as well. We welcome everyone to their new roles. And would love to welcome you to our open positions. If you’re interested in any of them, please don’t hesitate to contact Nancy Irland at [email protected] §

Donna Talain

Congratulations, Oregon AWHONN!

2015 Winner of the

Every Woman, Every Baby

Section Challenge

for having raised the most in donations

One lucky winner will be selected from all the 2015 Every Woman, Every Baby Oregon donors to win a free registration to the 2016 AWHONN Convention. Stay tuned for more information!


Donna Dial, MSN, RN &

Donna Salazar, RN

Your new

Southern Oregon Chapter Co-Leaders


Newsletter Tip of the Quarter

Last edition, we asked for your best tip for taking care of yourself and relieving stress. Unfortunately, we received no responses, so this time, an even bigger gift card is up for grabs!

This Month’s Question

We’ve welcomed several people to the Oregon AWHONN leadership team this year either in new roles or new to the group entirely. 

What is your best tip for welcoming new nurses to your group? 

Submit your answers at The best tip will win an gift card. §

Welcome Oregon AWHONN New Members

Amanda Albertson

Jacoba Anderson

Julieta Aredondo

Megan Barnett

Julianne Baxter

Nancy Besaw

Rosa Bounds

Caitlin Bourland

Tamara Bow

Vicki Brown

Anne Brumbley

Nancy Carpentier

Hillary Cash

Lyndsey Chamberlain

Samantha Crowley

Karen DeMarco

Chelsi Dencoff

Meggen Ditmore

Annalyse Fogelquist

Kathryn Tiffany Fredericks

Kathi Giraud

Martha Hall

Louisa Hamilton

Marina Hartnell

Amber Hilgert

Michelle Hirschkorn

Greta Horn

Sandra Horn

Rebecca Hunt

Jamie Kailiuli

Christiane Kinberg

Patricia King

Makenzi Klein

Kimberly Koziuk

Stephanie Landreth

Stephanie LaRiviere-Miller

Ariel Longmire

Deborah McBreen

Fie McWilliams

Joleen Melendez

Markee Moon

Alisha Musicant

Nadia Nation

Yohko Ogawa

Jennifer Pierce

Kimberly Prowell

Honore Richards

Larissa Smith

Mandy Stepper

Kimberly Stinger

Gretchen Vachter

Amy Weber

Sheri Werhane

Stephanie White

Kim Wood

Hayley Wright

Recruit three new members and receive a free membership!