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Nursing faculty member receives Patient Advocate Award

Donnamarie Lovestrand, assistant professor of nursing at Pennsylvania College of Technology, received the Pennsylvania Association of PeriAnesthesia Nurses’ 2020 Patient Advocate Award.

The award was presented during the association’s Annual Education Conference, held virtually Oct. 6.

The purpose of the Patient Advocate Award is to recognize individuals who demonstrate extraordinary clinical expertise, compassion, commitment, initiative and problem-solving skills in an effort to intervene on a patient’s or family’s behalf.

Lovestrand’s nominator praised her effort to involve Penn College student nurses in the association’s education programs, introducing them to the perianesthesia element of patient care. Perianesthesia nurses provide care for and monitor patients while they regain consciousness from anesthesia after surgery.

“Through education and mentoring of future nurses, (Lovestrand) is a role model for all the qualifications expressed in the award,” the nominator wrote. “She leads by example to student nurses. … As the nursing population ages, these students are the future patient advocates.”

Lovestrand has been a registered nurse for 42 years, with 37 of those years in direct, bedside care. She began working in anesthesia while serving in Kenya, where she administered general and spinal anesthetics in a local bush hospital for six years.

While working in perianesthesia care in an Army hospital, she became aware of “emergence delirium,” a phenomenon related to post-traumatic stress disorder. She has published two seminal works on the care of these patients and has presented internationally on the topic.

A member of the Penn College nursing faculty since 2015, she holds a Master of Science in nursing from Walden University, a bachelor’s degree from Cairn University and a diploma in nursing from Northeastern Hospital School of Nursing.

She is a certified post anesthesia nurse and writes test items for the national certification exam, administered by the American Board of Perianesthesia Nursing Certification Inc.

The Penn College nursing program offers six degree options, including traditional two- and four-year degrees, a graduate degree, and pathways for licensed practical nurses to become RNs and for RNs with a diploma or associate degree to pursue a bachelor’s degree. It welcomes high school and transfer applicants for entry each semester.

To learn more, call 570-327-4519 or visit www.pct.edu/nursing.

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