GW School of Nursing Launches Program to Train Faculty in Simulation Practices

GW School of Nursing Launches Program to Train Faculty in Simulation Practices

The George Washington University (GW) has launched a new program to help leaders in the School of Nursing who want to show faculty how they can incorporate real-life health care simulations into their lesson plans. The school plans to roll out a series of new simulation programs this year through a newly launched program called GW Nursing Simulation Initiatives. 

The programs will help faculty across the world better teach students how to work with mannequins and live patient actors who can provide students with real-life experiences in the nursing field. The new initiative was launched after the nursing school’s second annual simulation conference in March. Most of the programs will be headquartered on the Virginia Science and Technology Campus where the nursing school’s flagship building recently added 12 private exam rooms and two acute care rooms.

GW Nursing Dean Pamela Jeffries tells, “When we create this safe, non-threatening environment and immerse students in a simulation, it replicates a real clinical environment—it’s safe, they’re not going to harm patients.”

Two types of simulation training will be offered—“immersions” and “intensives”. Immersion sessions will start in July and include “best practices” for directors of simulation centers, technicians, and teachers. Intensive programs will launch in the fall and feature lessons on including simulations in curriculum and incorporating simulations across professions. Participants will learn how to properly oversee students working with mannequins, control rooms, and cameras. 

To learn more about GW Nursing’s newly launched program to train faculty in simulation practices, visit here

Nurse of the Week: Pediatric Nurse Lyndsee Wunn Inspired to Help Provide for Foster Children

Nurse of the Week: Pediatric Nurse Lyndsee Wunn Inspired to Help Provide for Foster Children

Our Nurse of the Week is Lyndsee Wunn, a pediatric nurse at Randall Children’s Hospital at Legacy Emanuel who was inspired to help provide for foster children after seeing so many children alone in the hospital.

Wunn has been a pediatric nurse for 15 years and she spends her 12-hour shifts caring for children battling cancer and struggling with heart defects. While many of her patients have parents and caregivers by their side providing love and encouragement, there are also foster children who spend time in the hospital alone.

Seeing foster children suffering alone inspired Wunn and her husband Geoffrey, also a pediatric nurse, to get their state certification to become foster parents. They already had a son at the time, Landon, now 8, but the need for foster families is so great that four days after being approved, they were asked by an Oregon Department of Human Services caseworker if they’d take Cooper, a drug-addicted infant born in a Portland-area hospital. They fostered Cooper, now 6, for more than 18 months and then adopted him when the boy’s parents relinquished their rights.

With their careers and two kids at home, the Wunn’s decided they could no longer commit to being foster parents, but it wasn’t easy for them to let go after continuing to see foster kids in the hospital at work. Compelled to do more, they decided to collect new clothing and supplies that could be sent to children taken in by a foster family.

Wunn shared her new project on Facebook and received a huge response. After outgrowing the room in her home, she partnered with a local church to store her items in their basement, rent free, for children ranging from infants to 18 years old. Wunn’s project is now listed online and operated under the umbrella of Embrace Oregon, a nonprofit based in Portland that works with the Department of Human Services to focus on the foster system.

Brooke Gray, the executive director of Embrace Oregon, tells, “She had a unique idea. Some of these families are asked to take in a newborn with just two hours’ notice. We’ve had nurses tell us that all they have to send a baby out of the hospital with is a blanket. This is like having a baby shower and getting everything a family needs.”

To learn more about Lyndsee Wunn, a pediatric nurse who was inspired by her work to adopt a foster child and start a nonprofit to help provide clothing and supplies for foster children, visit here.

New York Hospitals Tentatively Agree to Spend $100 Million on Hiring Nurses

New York Hospitals Tentatively Agree to Spend $100 Million on Hiring Nurses

The New York State Nurses Association reached an agreement this week on a four-year contract with the NYC Hospital Alliance in which the hospitals agreed to spend $100 million to fill vacancies and add new positions. The NYC Hospital Alliance is made up of Montefiore, Mount Sinai, and New York–Presbyterian health systems.

According to the New York State Nurses Association, the agreement could lead to the hiring of 1,450 nurses, adding to the estimated 11,000 nurses currently employed at facilities run by the three health systems. The agreement is tentative, and follows a months-long dispute over staffing levels.

The number of nurses hired will depend on the types of positions that the nurse’s union and hospitals agree to fill. If specialized nurses with higher salaries are in demand, the $100 million won’t yield as many hires. But the contract does comprise on the issue of staffing ratios, stating that nurse-to-patient ratios will be assigned based on how sick the patients are in a given unit. However, there will not be a maximum number of patients that a given nurse can treat at one time.

Marc Kramer, lead negotiator for the NYC Hospital Alliance, tells, “This significant investment in our nursing teams will ultimately benefit patients in the long term while preserving hospitals’ flexibility to deliver the individual, tailored health care that our institutions are known for around the world.”

The contract also outlines a new collaborative process for the nurse’s union and hospitals to address staffing needs. Union officials will meet with each health system’s management team annually to discuss staffing issues and hospitals have agreed to have an independent third party enforce staffing levels.

To learn more about a new agreement between the New York State Nurses Association and the NYC Hospital Alliance to spend $100 million on hiring nurses in an effort to address staffing shortages, visit here.

Southern New Hampshire University Nursing Students Address Nursing Shortage with HEaRT Challenge

Southern New Hampshire University Nursing Students Address Nursing Shortage with HEaRT Challenge

Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU) nursing students recently supplied a national retirement community agency with dozens of ideas to improve nursing recruitment and retention policies as part of their real-world healthcare project titled the HEaRT Challenge

The HEaRT – Healthcare Education and Real-World Training – Challenge paired students in SNHU’s nursing and health professions programs with leaders at Watermark Retirement Communities. The project was designed to give students hands-on experience working with industry professionals and challenged them to develop one recruitment and one retention strategy to help the organization address the nationwide nursing shortage. 

Dr. Tony Clayton, associate dean of health professions at SNHU, tells, “The HEaRT Challenge offers students a meaningful way to build confidence, apply soft skills and demonstrate workforce readiness.”

Students were organized into groups that researched the company’s environment and the broader impacts of the nursing shortage. The project was conducted online and representatives from Watermark provided company data and made themselves available to answer questions. At the end of the project, each group produced an executive summary for Watermark executives to explore new ideas for recruiting and retaining nurses to work for their organization. 

To learn more about how Southern New Hampshire University nursing students are helping to address the nationwide nursing shortage with the HEaRT Challenge, visit here

Nurse of the Week: Alison Pike Donates Hair to Fellow Nurse After Chemotherapy Treatment

Nurse of the Week: Alison Pike Donates Hair to Fellow Nurse After Chemotherapy Treatment

Our Nurse of the Week is Alison Pike who donated her hair to a fellow nurse who had lost hers after chemotherapy treatment. Pike, and the nurse who she donated her hair to, Gra Doherty, are both nurses at Wolfson Children’s Hospital. Doherty’s hair started falling out after chemotherapy treatment for her multiple sclerosis, a devastating loss that left her not wanting to leave her house.

Doherty recalls when she first started losing her hair and says, “I felt very uncomfortable just because I didn’t feel like myself. I’m a hair twirler. I’m a hair flipper. I’ve had long hair my whole life.”

After hearing about what she was going through, Doherty’s coworkers came up with a surprise for her. Pike cut off 10 inches of her own hair and then she and a group of other nurses collected $400 to have it made into a custom wig for Doherty.

Pike tells, “The way her demeanor changed from before to after, I mean, I want to grow my hair out eight more times.”

Doherty’s coworkers won’t be seeing her around Wolfson in the near future—she is traveling to Northwestern in Chicago for a new experimental treatment that could save her life. She was referred for a clinical trial for hematopoietic stem cell transplantation, or HSCT.

Once she’s able, Doherty hopes to raise money for people whose insurance doesn’t cover the expensive fee for HSCT treatment, to help take away some of the burdens of the disease and treatment in the way that others have done for her.

To learn more about our Nurse of the Week Alison Pike who donated her hair to fellow nurse Gra Dohety who lost her hair following chemotherapy treatment for multiple sclerosis, visit here.

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