October 24, 2003
The past few months have been both extremely rewarding and humbling for University of Maine at Fort Kent nursing division director Rachel Albert. In that time, the administrator and faculty member has learned that her work has been officially recognized by both chambers of the Maine State Legislature, and that an article she authored was the feature cover story in a publication that reaches nurses from Maine to Florida.
The Legislative Sentiment passed by the Maine House of Representatives and State Senate, was presented to Albert, by surprise, on Friday, October 17 in her office by State Representative Troy Jackson (I-Fort Kent).
Jackson, who has attended numerous functions at UMFK and has heard and read about Albert's many accomplishments, took it upon himself to introduce legislation to formally acknowledge the nursing professor.
The final impetus behind his nomination was news of Albert's selection as an evaluator for other nursing programs at schools throughout the country by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education last spring.
After learning of the nomination, Jackson began to work with Albert's husband, UMFK associate professor of computer science Raymond Albert, to get some of the specific biographical information he would need to prepare the legislative document.
The Fort Kent lawmaker partnered with his fellow members in the St. John Valley legislative delegation and bill co-sponsors, Senator John Martin (D-Eagle Lake) and Representatives William Smith (D-Van Buren) and Rosaire Paradis (D-Frenchville) to present the sentiment before the legislature.
"I am very honored to have been recognized in this way, but I am especially pleased to know that State of Maine legislators recognize the importance of promoting and ensuring quality nursing education," said Albert.
Among the areas of recognition included in the sentiment presented to Albert by Jackson is her current role spearheading the institutional assessment being conducted by UMFK in preparation for a 2005 accreditation review by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges.
The honor of receiving a legislative sentiment comes on the heels of Albert's recent cover page article in Advance for Nurses, a publication serving registered nurses in New England and the eastern United States.
The piece entitled "Tuning Out the Pain", discusses her research on the use of music and guided imagery to lower pain and anxiety in the emergency department of hospitals. Albert has been conducting research and studying the topic for several years.
This latest publication is not the first attention she receives for her work in the field. In December of 2000, her work on this topic was featured on the CBS News Healthwatch website.
That article entitled "Tuning in to Lowering Stress in the ER," focused on Albert's preliminary research on the use of guided imagery and music to relieve the pain of being injured and to lessen the anxiety of being in an emergency room.
She has been published in several other journals, including the Journal of Emergency Nursing and the Journal of Professional Nursing.
Albert has been a professor of nursing at UMFK since September of 1990. She was named director and chair of the division in 1999, and received promotion to associate professor that same year.
A 1985 alumna of the UMFK bachelor of science in nursing program, she received her PhD in 2001 from Case Western Reserve University Frances Payne School of Nursing in Ohio and received her masters of science in nursing from the University of Texas in Houston in 1990.
In 1997, she was named to Outstanding Young Women of America and received the UMFK "Outstanding Faculty Award". She was also named to Who's Who among American Teachers in 2002.
Albert belongs to numerous professional associations including the Maine Nurses Association, American Association of Colleges of Nursing, and the Leadership Maine program.
Locally, she sits on the board of directors of Visiting Nurses of Aroostook and the Aroostook Mental Health Center.