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Nursing Faculty Spotlight: Marla Kniewel


Kniewal, Marla 02Marla Kniewel, EdD, has been at Nebraska Methodist College since 2004. After many years as a staff nurse and then Neuroscience Care Coordinator, she began teaching in the classroom/clinical setting. Dr. Kniewel recently earned her Doctorate in Education. She sat down to answer a few questions. 

NMC: Why did you decide to become a nurse and eventually an educator?

MK: I actually wanted to be a teacher when I was growing up. I decided to be a nurse after I was married and had a couple of children. As a practicing nurse, I enjoyed teaching patients, family members, new nurses and nursing students. I decided to be a nurse educator when Nebraska Methodist College started the MSN program and enrolled in one of the first cohorts of the program.

NMC: You recently earned your doctorate degree, what was your motivation in earning a PhD?
MK: My mother was a nurse educator (Dr. Jean Beyer) and had earned her PhD at an older age, so she was a great role model. I chose to enroll in a doctoral program focusing on education, so chose the EdD (doctor of education) program with a focus for health care professionals offered at College of Saint Mary.

NMC: What was your area of research?

MK: The effect of team-based learning as an instructional strategy on undergraduate nursing students. I compared exam scores between students taught specific content with lecture or team-based learning, plus evaluated students perception of team-based learning at NMC.

UPDATE: We just found out the Dr. Kniewel earned "Dissertation of the Year" from College of St. Mary. Congrats to Marla!

NMC: What is your favorite part of your job?

MK: Working with the students to facilitate their growth and development as a professional and achieve their dream. I also like the freedom of using creativity to help students learn. I also truly enjoy everyone I work with from various departments of the college.
NMC: What one piece of advice would you give to the future nurses you educate?

MK: Become a life-long learner and try new areas of practice to enhance your practice.
NMC: What do you do outside of work?
MK: I love (flower and vegetable) gardening and reading a good mystery book.

See our other Spotlights:


Josie’s Village Accommodates Traditional and Non-Traditional Students


josie's village omaha

Research shows that living on campus positively influences college students in a number of ways. On-campus students tend to have higher grade point averages, more involvement in campus activities, and greater overall satisfaction in their college experiences. Most importantly, they are more likely to stick with college and finish their degree.

NMC housingFor students wishing to live on campus at Nebraska Methodist College, Josie’s Village provides a comfortable home away from home. Josie’s Village is coed apartment-style living with one- and two-bedroom apartments, housing 100 students. Fully furnished rooms spare students from having to lug furniture into their rooms on moving day at NMC. Wireless internet, cable television and all utilities are also provided and included in the housing costs.

NMC’s housing options cater to students of all kinds. Housing options are available for traditional students, married students, married students with children and students who are single parents.

To live in Josie’s Village, students must be enrolled in at least one class within their program of study in the fall and spring semesters.  Students who are working in the Omaha area during the summer but are not enrolled in classes are eligible to live on campus if they are pre-registered for classes in the fall semester. Apartment assignments are made on a first-come, first-served basis.

“At Josie’s Village, your neighbors will be students just like you who are meeting the challenges and feeling the rewards of the college experience,” says Dr. Melissa Hoffman, Dean of Students. “Our housing staff is committed to helping students in their adjustment to college and to meeting other needs as they arise.”

NMC Students Participate in "The Waiting Room" Discussion


The Waiting Room PR Draft resized 600On Tuesday, January 29th, the Center for Health Partnerships collaborated with Film Streams, a non-profit cinema, to present a sold-out screening and discussion of director Peter Nicks’ acclaimed health care documentary, The Waiting Room.

The Oscar-nominated film is an un-narrated, behind-the-scenes look at the emergency department at a public hospital in Oakland, California. Weaving together the stories of multiple people who need a variety of services from an overtaxed and remarkably compassionate hospital staff, the film provides a host of insights into health and healthcare in American society. This collaboration was part of Film Streams’ Community Development Program.

Following the film showing, a panel, made up of representatives from the two trauma hospitals in Omaha, worked to unpack insights the film provided into health and healthcare in Omaha.

Panelists included: MJ Egan, staff nurse, The Nebraska Medical Center; Dr. William Gossman, Associate Professor of Emergency Medicine, Creighton University School of Medicine; Rosanna Morris, Sr. Vice President, Patient Care Service/Chief Nursing Officer, The Nebraska Medical Center and Dr. Robert Muelleman, Chair, UNMC Department of Emergency Medicine. The discussion was moderated by Dr. Richard O’Brien, professor at Creighton Center for Health Policy and Ethics.

The discussion that ensued was audience driven and focused on particular challenges faced in providing Omaha emergency and trauma care. It was particularly timely as Omaha works to understand the effects that the Alegent/Creighton merger and the implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act will have on health care in our community. The audience included representatives from a broad array of healthcare related entities in Omaha and a substantial number of NMC students and faculty.

"This gave our students an opportunity to view a critically acclaimed doumentary about our healthcare system and have a meaningful discussion with local leaders in the field," said Kristin Mattson, PhD, the Director of the Center for Health Partnerships. "We value the opportunities to educate our students outside the classroom and we are proud to have collaborated with Film Streams on this special screening."

About the CFHP: The Center for Health Partnerships was founded in 2007.  Building upon a long history of community involvement and community-based learning, the Center works to focus NMC's community outreach to deepen both community impact and student learning.

What is a Rad Tech?

what is a rad tech?

As the saying goes, a picture is worth a thousand words, but for a physician working to diagnose and treat a patient, an image of the inner body is invaluable.

Capturing those images is the job of radiographers. While sonographers use high-frequency sound waves to create pictures of the internal body, radiographers use low-level amounts of radiation — X-rays — allowing them to visualize all parts of the human body. Radiography is much more than X-raying broken bones. X-rays are used to see virtually every body part and system of a patient, including lungs, heart, blood vessels, brain, spine, sinuses, joints, bowels and kidneys.

Like sonography, radiography is for the individual who is tech-savvy and has an eye for capturing images that are useful to physicians. Radiographers are constantly working with high-tech imaging equipment and computers to complete their diagnostic radiographs of patients’ anatomy. Using that equipment, they are responsible for producing detailed images that allow physicians to diagnose disease or trauma in a patient.

Like many other healthcare professions, the job market for radiographers is expected to grow in the coming years as the baby boomer population ages. However, the current outlook is somewhat unclear due to uncertainty associated with the Affordable Care Act. Radiographers have job opportunities in a variety of settings, such as hospital radiography departments, inpatient and outpatient clinics and mobile radiography units (trucks or vans that take imaging equipment to patients in places like nursing homes). A lucky few are even employed as radiographers for professional sports teams or cruise lines.

what is a rad tech?

Experience in imaging also opens doors for radiographers to other career opportunities in magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), computed tomography (CT), nuclear medicine’s positron emission tomography (PET), radiation therapy, sonography and cardio-vascular interventional radiography. Radiographers also have career opportunities in management and education.

Nebraska Methodist College offers a Radiologic Technology degree program to prepare students to become entry-level radiographers in the field. The program offers hands-on experience at several medical facilities throughout the Omaha metro area and southwestern Iowa. In the program, students learn how to operate a wide variety of radiography equipment and perform an array of radiologic procedures and exams, including pediatrics, geriatrics, trauma, surgery and specialty modalities.

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