The Francis Marion University (FMU) School of Health Sciences recently received a $1.8 million grant from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) aimed at promoting nursing workforce diversity. The funding will provide four-year grants to cover tuition support for up to 100 students, in addition to funding initiatives for the nursing department like the BSN program.
The HRSA funded the grant from their workforce diversity program to help increase nursing education opportunities for students from disadvantaged or underrepresented backgrounds, including racial and ethnic minorities. Diversity is slowly increasing in the nursing workforce, but the minority participation currently remains below 20 percent according to SCNow.com.
FMU intends to use the funding to improve the diversity of its nursing student body. This will include financial support, assigning graduate student mentors to freshman students, special freshman-level “university life” courses for pre-nursing students, and academic help through the Center for Academic Success and Achievement. Ruth Wittmann-Price, dean of the School of Health Sciences, tells SCNow.com:
“We’re thrilled to receive another HRSA grant and to continue our role in shaping the nursing workforce in the years to come. Our programs, and our impact on the community, continues to grow. We’re proud of what we’ve done, but the future is really exciting.”
FMU is the only university in South Carolina to receive a grant through the workforce diversity program, and this is the fourth HRSA grant the university has received since 2016. All of the grants have been aimed at improving access to healthcare for the community or access to healthcare education for disadvantaged and underserved populations.
To learn more about FMU’s funding to promote nursing workforce diversity, visit here.
The Clemson University School of Nursing recently received a $5,000 scholarship from the CVS Health Foundation to assist students in their studies to become family nurse practitioners. CVS’s grant is part of the new Advance Practice Nurse and Physician Assistant Scholarship program which launched this year.
The program is aimed at reducing the nationwide shortage of family nurse practitioners and physician assistants by supporting these promising future health care professionals. Scholarships will be provided to accredited academic institutions around the nation to be distributed to family nurse practitioner and physician assistant students for covering costs of tuition, books, and other academic fees.
Clemson is thankful for the scholarship funds which will go towards helping deserving students become excellent family nurse practitioners. Eileen Howard Boone, president of the CVS Health Foundation, credits the scholarship as one of many steps that the foundation is taking to increase the number of qualified healthcare professionals in South Carolina and around the nation. Boone tells The Newsstand at Clemson.edu,
“We know how important having a strong pipeline of family nurse practitioners and physician assistants is to making high-quality, convenient and affordable health care services more accessible. We’re proud to support schools like the Clemson University School of Nursing who are providing quality education to students pursuing a career as a family nurse practitioner.”
The scholarship will be awarded to students in good academic standing who are pursuing advanced practice nursing master’s degrees, doctorate family nurse practitioner degrees, or master’s degrees as a physician’s assistant. Scholarship recipients are also required to intern or volunteer with an organization supporting underserved populations, and at least 25 percent of the scholarship funds will be awarded to bilingual students.
Clemson University and the Greenville Health System (GHS) broke ground on Jan. 30 on a $31.5 million, 78,255-square-foot collaborative Clemson University Center for Nursing, Health Research, and Innovation building which will be housed at the Greenville Memorial Medical Campus. The new building is expected to open in 2018.
With the new larger four-story building, Clemson and GHS will be able to expand their bachelor of science in nursing (BSN) degree program from 352 to 800 students over the next six years, doubling the number of undergraduate nursing students they can educate and place into clinical settings. The goal of the new building and increased student population is to ease the state’s nursing shortage.
The American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) suggests that the nursing shortage is growing steadily as baby boomers retire and not enough nurses graduate to replace them. Demand for BSN-educated nurses is also expected to rise with over one million nursing job openings predicted by 2022. Nursing shortages, especially at hospitals, are a critical problem that leads to higher risk of errors and poor quality of care when nursing units are short-staffed. Hospitals are also receiving increasingly complex patients, strengthening the demand for nurses who hold bachelor’s degrees.
GHS and Clemson expect their collective space to become a hub of academic collaboration with space for Clemson researchers and a hospital-like environment with virtual reality simulators and high-fidelity human patient simulators. Classrooms, offices, simulation labs, and collaborative spaces will all be housed in the new building where medical and nursing students can be trained to work together.
Francis Marion University (FMU) recently graduated its first class from the new Healthcare Administration major. 27 students graduated from the program in the Fall 2016 commencement ceremony and 113 additional students enrolled in the major are expected to graduate over the next few years.
FMU is pleasantly surprised by the number of graduates, especially for a program that is only a year old. However, it’s a field filled with promise for students who want to work in healthcare but don’t have interest in being a clinician, and many students are migrating to the hot new field. Dr. Ruth Wittman-Price, Dean of FMU’s School of Health Sciences, told SCNow.com,
“Healthcare organizations, in-patient and out-patient, are using baccalaureate prepared people in managerial positions to run units and departments. It’s a good alternative program if they don’t want to be a clinician. There are jobs available for them.”
The Healthcare Admin program is FMU’s first entirely online degree, offering flexibility for students to work and participate in extracurricular activities. Incorporating several courses that already existed in the nursing program and School of Business, offering the new degree made sense for FMU.
Many students know healthcare administration is a growing field and that much of healthcare is moving in-patient to out-patient with managers on each side who handle budgets, scheduling, ordering supplies, and who also have background knowledge in healthcare, finance, psychology, and sociology. It’s an important part of the healthcare system and a rewarding position for those who don’t want to be clinicians on the front lines of medicine.
The National League for Nursing (NLN), the nation’s premier organization for nursing faculty and leaders in nursing education, has named Francis Marion University (FMU) one of its 15 new Centers of Excellence for the 2016 year.
Centers of Excellence are chosen based on an institution’s core values including integrity, diversity, excellence, and faculty who share their experience and wisdom in nursing education. Programs that receive the Center of Excellence designation meet high standards and are individually recognized for the unique contributions they bring to the field of nursing.
Francis Marion’s Department of Nursing was recognized for “Promoting the Pedagogical Expertise of Faculty.” They were one of only seven schools nationwide recognized in the area, including Duke, Indiana, Connecticut, University of Louisiana-Lafayette, UNC-Greensboro, and LSU Health Sciences Center-New Orleans.
With a long-standing commitment to providing students with the best instruction and faculty, FMU’s Dean of the School of Health Science, Ruth Wittman-Price, says the recognition is an appropriate benchmark for the Department of Nursing. FMU is now one of only 56 institutions in the nation that have been designated a Center of Excellence by the NLN, and one of only two nursing schools in South Carolina that have been recognized.
62-year-old former Army tanker, Tom Alligood, now serves as a nursing assistant in the emergency room at the Dorn VA hospital in Columbia, SC. He can usually be found working in camouflage scrubs to show his veteran patients that he’s been in their place and they’ve fought the same battles. However, Alligood doesn’t mean just war battles; he is referring to homelessness, job loss, and the mental anguish that many military veterans face when trying to readjust to life in the civilian world.
Alligood’s military background is what makes him so good at his job. He can relate to his veteran patients after his challenging route from VA patient to VA caregiver. After leaving the Army, Alligood took a job managing a concrete block plant, but when the plant was sold it left Alligood jobless and deep in debt, resulting in losing his car and home. Facing mental and physical hardships that left him unfit for life in homeless shelters, Alligood took to sleeping in abandoned buildings. When a counselor told him about a VA program that put homeless veterans into counseling and sent them back to work, Alligood jumped at the opportunity to work 40 hours a week transporting veterans around the sprawling Dorn VA Medical Center.
During his time transporting veterans around Dorn, Alligood’s positive banter with his veteran patients caught the attention of Ruth Mustard, a nursing administrator at the medical center. Mustard offered Alligood the opportunity to go to school to become a certified nursing assistant, paid for by the VA as long as he would come back to help other veterans. Alligood jumped at the chance, went back to school, and quickly returned to the Dorn VA Medical Center where he worked three years in an eldercare unit before moving to the emergency department where he is now in his sixth year of service.
After his experiences serving in Iraq and Saudi Arabia, Alligood says he understands veterans who are dealing with post-traumatic stress disorder in particular. Alligood doesn’t view his nursing career at the VA center as a job, he considers it his calling. He gets strength and positivity from being around other veterans like himself, so he made his work at the VA hospital his personal mission to help as many of his brothers and sisters in arms as he can.
DailyNurse is honoring Tom as Nurse of the Week for his inspiring military and nursing service.