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Explore This IssueDecember 2011
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ARHP Master Educator Award
Geri B. Neuberger, RN, MN, EdD
Professor, University of Kansas School of Nursing, Kansas City
Background: After more than 35 years and thousands of students, Dr. Neuberger has no plans to rein in her teaching activity. Born in Louisville, she earned a bachelor’s degree from Georgetown (Ky.) College and received a Master of Nursing and a doctoral degree in education from the University of Kansas. She has worked since 1971 as a teacher of undergraduate and graduate nursing at the University of Kansas School of Nursing in Kansas City, spending nearly 20 years with undergrads in the hospital setting. She currently works more closely with the University of Kansas’s graduate nursing students. A nurse who believes in the principles of the profession, Dr. Neuberger saw first hand the effects rheumatic diseases can have on loved ones and their families.
In graduate school, her passion for rheumatology was manifest in her Master of Nursing thesis, which looked at programs to help arthritis and rheumatology patients remember to take their medications. “Out of that experience, I applied for my first small grant,” she says. “I did a small, follow-up study with a grant through the Association of Rheumatology for Health Professionals.” Dr. Neuberger credits much of her success to Dr. Herbert Lindsley and Dr. Daniel Stechschulte, professors in the department of rheumatology at the University of Kansas, who taught and mentored her in the areas of rheumatic diseases when she was a faculty member there.
Q: As with many people in your field, you witnessed the impact of rheumatic disease growing up. How did that experience influence your decision to pursue a career in rheumatology?
A: It had a great impact. I was in my first educational program studying nursing when my mother got rheumatoid arthritis, and later my sister got it when she was 27 years old. And they had very severe forms. … At that time, we had very few drugs to treat them with. Prednisone was used a lot, and of course there are many bad affects you can get from staying on that medication. We had gold injections, but there wasn’t the array of drugs that there is now. Both my mother and sister had the deformities that go along with RA; both had to have total knee replacements. I was aware of a lot of the mobility and lifestyle changes that occur when you have a chronic disease.