Alexandra Bliven

  • Assistant Professor
  • Division: Nursing

Why I love teaching at Molloy College

First and foremost, I love working with the nursing students.  It is an invigorating experience...I learn so much from my students and receive such gratification watching them grow into professional registered nurses.

Additionally, I enjoy the sense of "community" that I experience everyday at Molloy College.  I have made life long friends.

Academic Interests

Mental Health Nursing:  Teaching the theory and clinical component of the senior level mental health course.  My clinical focus is working with the severely and persistently mentally ill [SPMI] population.  As such the nursing students' learning and focus is recovery based, utilizing a self  outpatient clinical agency and developed and implemented a weight management program. This program addresses the high rate of obesity and metabolic syndrome among the identified population, secondary to second generation antipsychotic medication and a sedentary lifestyle. The nursing students deliver and evaluate this weekly program, under the supervision of clinical faculty and agency staff.  An important component of the program comprises "coaching" of participants by nursing students.  Developed an orientation powerpoint for nursing students, introducing the weight management program.

Tobacco use is another high risk lifestyle behavior that is frequent amongst the mentally ill population.  In fact, it has been noted that this addiction decreases the SPMI life expectancy by 20 years.  With this in mind, I have developed, implemented and evaluated an annual Great American Smoke Out Day at the clinical siteThe nursing students deliver this fun, informative day of interactive activities and events.

Community Health Nursing:  I am a clinical faculty member for this course.  My clinical framework comprises the Community Appraisal Model, which was developed by a colleague, Dr. Kathleen LaMaute.  I have enthusiastically embraced this model, developing an ongoing partnership with a local high school, located in a culturally and economically diverse neighborhood.   A need for a weight management and physical fitness program was identified by the school nurse thru weight and BMI screenings.  In response to this need, I developed and implemented the Healthy Living Program.  Nursing students develop and implement weekly lesson plans, monitor and evaluate participant progress.  Each semester an additional dimension to this program will be added by the nursing students. 

The Community Appraisal Model encourages the senior level nursing student to be self directed, and population focused thru experiencing the steps necessary to address community health issues. They complete a comprehensive community assessment, interview community leaders, identify and prioritize health problems, research a priority health concern thru a literature search and review, initiate and evaluate a program to address this health concern.  The students experiences, first hand, what it means to collaborate and develop a community partnership.

What I am working on

Mental Health

  • June 2012:  Community Based Participatory Research (CBPR)in the High School:  Partnership for Healthy Living in 9th - 12th Graders and for Pregnant Teens using Nursing Student Delivered Health Promotion.
  • Preceptor for PhD nursing student, addressing weight gain and the second generation antipsychotics.  Also focusing on the "coaching" role of the nursing students in the delivery of a weight management program for SPMI population.
  • Fine tuning the weight management program for mentally ill [Fitness Friends]
  • Increasing the socialization of the severely and persistently mentally ill population at clinical site thru the development of a social media based bulletin board.  Free and low cost community activities will be identified and participants can sign up and go together to these community events.  This board will be developed and maintained by the nursing students, in collaboration with participant representatives.
  • Standardizing Fitness Friends [weight management program] for initiation of program at additional clinical sites

Community Health

  • Standardizing the Healthy Living, school based program, in collaboration with my colleague, Monica Caravella- Diamond, M.S.N., R.N., P.M.C., AE-C.
  • Expanding program delivery at local high school, meeting identified needs of the school nurse.  Nursing students will continue to deliver health promotion to this population.
  • Ongoing collaboration with Dr. Lamaute related to the Community Appraisal Model.

Educational Philosophy

All students have the potential for success.  I like to develop a collaborative relationship with my students...I take my teaching responsibilities very seriously and try to provide valuable learning experiences...which if completed by the student will assist in their achievement of course objectives.  I am a firm believer in "hands on" experience....learn the concepts in the classroom and apply these same concepts in the clinical setting.

Educational Background

University of Florida:  B.S.N., M.N.

Additional Information

I also serve as Course Coordinator for N 289 [Psychosocial], N 429 [Mental Health] and N 439 [Community Health]. An important aspect of this role, is to ensure consistency among course sections:  both theory and clinical components.

Fiction....I like to read as a form of escape from the various "life stressors".

Other:

Course Coordinator for N 289, N 429 and N 439. Have worked with division leadership and my faculty colleagues to standardize each course section's delivery of content and assignments...both theory and clinically based.  A clinical course pack, for all N 429 clinical sections has been developed for the students, with corresponding Clinical Adjunct Instruction Guidelines.  It is anticipated this will promote consistency between all clinical sections of the course.  N 439 faculty has standardized community health assignments for traditional clinical experiences.  There is also a standardized student pack for the Community Appraisal Model, a non- traditional clinical experience. 

Will be developing QSEN activities for each course, in collaboration with my faculty colleagues.

Poster board presentation: "Community Based Participatory Research (CBPR) in the High School:  A Partnership for Healthy Living in 9-12th Grade Students and for Pregnant Teens Using Nursing Student Delivered Health Promotion" June 22, 2012