HEALab Provides ASU Health Students Path to Combine Healthcare and Business

HEALab Provides ASU Health Students Path to Combine Healthcare and Business

Arizona State University is helping more students pursuing health-related degrees to marry their knowledge and curriculum with entrepreneurship, in order to help them forge stronger paths in their healthcare careers. The ASU Health Entrepreneur Accelerator Lab (HEALab) program helps teach students to think up new solutions, design a business model, and apply to the ASU Venture Devils Program for further mentorship and funding.  

While their Tempe campus has hosted their business, engineering, and design schools for a long time, the health-centered colleges are based in the downtown Phoenix and West campuses. Combining the resources and strengths from these schools and ASU’s office of Entrepreneurship and Innovation creates opportunities for nursing and health students pursuing their bachelors and masters degrees, both in the classroom and in the workplace.

From Classroom to Competition to Career

Students are already showing major successes from the program, as shared by the Phoenix Business Journal. Ramona Ramadas, who has been pursuing her Masters in Healthcare Innovation through ASU’s online courses, recently competed in the Nurse-Pitch competition at the 2019 Healthcare and Management Systems Society conference and placed third. Her startup, New Trails Navigators, is an AI-driven platform designed to train newly incarcerated inmates to begin a career in healthcare. The mentoring and networking Ms. Ramada has been able to gain through the HEALab has helped her win three additional competitions and awards, including the Pakis Social Entrepreneurship Challenge and the Alliance for the American Dream.

In addition to being a resource for Arizona State students, the HEALab has been used by students at other schools. Back in February, students from Mayo Clinic Alix School of Medicine visited the lab and other school campuses and centers, through a week long Entrepreneurship and Innovation selective with Dr. Rick Hall, CONHI’s Senior Director of Health Innovation. These students used applied human-centered design techniques and lean startup business tools to develop application ideas.

The HEALab offers monthly guest speakers and one-on-one mentoring to all ASU community members, faculty, and students, including those from different campuses, and those taking online coursework. For more information about the HEALab, click here.

New BSN Degree Through University of Dayton and Sinclair Community College

New BSN Degree Through University of Dayton and Sinclair Community College

The University of Dayton and Sinclair Community College have joined forces to provide a new bachelor of science in nursing degree, in order to help meet the four-year credential requirement that more and more health care employers are mandating.

The new degree program is designed for students to start their coursework at the University of Dayton in their first year. In the second and third years, students are dually enrolled at Dayton and Sinclair, balancing nursing courses and clinical rotations. At the end of the third year, students will complete their ASN from Sinclair, before moving on to year four at Dayton to complete their BSN. Additionally, after gaining their ASNs, students will be allowed to work as licensed registered nurses through the National Council Licensure Examination.

“The bachelor of science in nursing offers students an affordable pathway to a high-quality degree,” said UD School of Education and Health Sciences Dean Kevin Kelly. “The program draws on the strengths of both institutions, including UD’s Marianist tradition of educating the whole person and Sinclair’s long and excellent reputation in nursing education, and helps meet a critical workforce need in the Dayton community.”

As the nursing shortage continues, more degree program options like the one designed by the University of Dayton and Sinclair Community College are crucial. The Bureau of Labor Statistics is predicting a 15 percent job growth for registered nurses through at least 2026. With RNs needed in hospitals, extended care facilities, schools, and other organizations, it is critical to increase more education and certification options for those planning to become nurses.

“Employers in our region appreciate the caliber of the Sinclair nursing graduate, but also place value on registered nurses having a BSN degree,” said Rena Shuchat, Sinclair College Health Sciences dean. “Sinclair and UD have a long-standing partnership and this is another example of two great institutions partnering to provide our region with high-quality nurses with an advanced degree.”

This program is especially helpful for those wanting to pursue a BSN but concerned about costs. Sinclair tuition costs are locked in for years 2 and 3 of the program, and students are locked into a transparent net-tuition plan through the University of Dayton for years 1 and 4. Beyond the financial benefits, students will be able to seek academic help from faculty at both schools. These BSN candidates will also be working alongside UD and Sinclair students in other health science degree programs, providing them with a well-rounded education that will assist them as they begin their RN careers.

For more information on this new degree program, visit the University of Dayton’s website.

Graduate Student Nurses Face Enrollment Concerns Over a Critical Shortage of Health Care Providers

Graduate Student Nurses Face Enrollment Concerns Over a Critical Shortage of Health Care Providers

The United States is facing a critical shortage in all health care professions. With the nation’s baby boomer population approaching retirement age, the issue is twofold: the aging population requires more care, and the nation’s physicians, nurses, and other health professionals are retiring.

Too Many Students, Not Enough Options

The solution to filling this gap is replacing the departing health care professionals with nursing graduates of all academic levels. However, many higher education institutions are turning away suitable candidates in droves. In 2016, nursing degree programs in the U.S. rejected 64,067 qualified applicants from baccalaureate and graduate nursing programs alike citing a lack of budget, faculty, clinical sites and preceptors, and classroom space.

Currently, there is a serious shortage of physicians, which continues to grow. By 2025, there will be a projected deficit of nearly 35,600 primary care doctors alone. Nursing schools are facing the struggle and strain to increase the capacity of existing nursing programs, and explore other avenues like online courses and accreditation.

Higher Education Means Higher Pay

Enrollment is increasing in nursing masters and doctoral programs across the country, and it’s no wonder that nurses are applying to graduate schools en masse. RNs realize there are significant perks to training and becoming an advanced practice registered nurse. Evidence shows that the quality of care by an advanced practice nurse is comparable to physicians, while often more affordable.

The full-time annual salary for a Nurse Practitioner (NP) averages $105,546. The high pay range of the NP may be partly to blame for the faculty shortage—higher compensation in the clinical setting is luring potential educators away from teaching.

Most vacant faculty positions require a terminal nursing degree. If more nurses pursue a doctoral degree, the faculty shortage will be alleviated. What will the outcomes of the nursing shortage be? Only time will tell.

Caitlin Goodwin MSN, RN, CNM is a Board Certified Nurse-Midwife and freelance writer. She has ten years of nursing experience and graduated with a MSN from Frontier Nursing University.    

College Debt Delays RN Advancement

College Debt Delays RN Advancement

Often the leading factor in nurses’ decisions about academic progression

Students are graduating from college with significant amounts of educational debt — in 2015 the average student borrower had $30,100 in loans upon graduation — and a recently published study finds that nurses are no different.

When Jan Jones-Schenk, DHSc, RN, NE-BC, national director for the college of health professions at Western Governors University, surveyed 1,299 working nurses for the study, 62% of the respondents reported they had prior college debt.

More than 39% of those with debt said their debt ranged from $1 to $24,999 while 23.5% reported debt greater than $25,000. Approximately one-third of the respondents said they had no prior college debt.

“Some had debt as high as $100,000, and 7% reported debt greater than $50,000. That’s a lifetime of debt,” Jones-Schenk said.

The study also found that educational debt influences nurses’ decisions about academic progression.

“The data showed that most of the people who have an education plan are going to go on, and they have debt,” she said. “But if they have more than $10,000 in college debt they’re going to delay their educational advancement so they’re not going to go on as quickly.”

Debt’s Influence on Education Decisions

When the National Academy of Medicine’s (formerly the Institute of Medicine) report, “The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health,” was released in 2010, it had very specific recommendations on the educational preparation of RNs.

The report called for 80% of nurses to hold a baccalaureate degree by 2020, and for the number of nurses with doctorate degrees to double during that time as well. It also called upon healthcare organizations to encourage nurses with associate’s and diploma degrees to enter baccalaureate nursing programs within 5 years of graduation, and for accredited nursing schools to ensure that at least 10% of all baccalaureate graduates enrolled in master’s or doctoral program within 5 years of graduation.

“We all understand the basis of that,” Jones-Schenk said. “But I do think that nurse leaders may not understand that while they may offer tuition reimbursement or other incentives for their staff, they may not be aware of the current level of debt those people have already.”

While nurses with ADNs may want to obtain BSNs, they may already carry a large amount of educational debt from their associate’s degree program.

“Because I do have students in all 50 states, I was seeing programs where students were coming to me with an associate degree and it seemed like their college debt was already pretty high,” she said of her inspiration for the study. “Some of the associate degree programs were at $60,000.”

The Need for Financial Knowledge

Jones-Schenk said that good financial mentoring is one way to help nurses keep their educational debt in check.

“If [students] are eligible for federal financial aid or state financial aid, without good counseling they may take the maximum amount of eligibility. But they may not need all that,” she said.

“In our university, we have a specific initiative called ‘the responsible borrowing initiative.’ We counsel students about how much borrowing they really need and not to over-borrow … so they’re going to be able to go on without that debt as a barrier.”

Nurses should also look at the overall cost of a program, even if a college or university is offering a discount to their employer.

“‘If you’re saying, ‘Well, I’m going to go to the school that offers the 20% tuition discount versus one that offers a 5% discount,’ that percentage of discount is meaningless. What matters is the ultimate cost to the student,” Jones-Schenk said. “That’s where I think a lot of people get hung up. They think they’re going to go to a school because they offer a 20% discount, but the ultimate cost to the student is still $30,000 versus $10,000 [with a smaller discount].”

Responsibility for minimizing debt shouldn’t be placed entirely on the student. Jones-Schenk said that low-interest rate loans and loan forgiveness programs are tools that could help defray educational debt.

“Nurse leaders, people in higher education, the government, and other individuals who have an interest in healthcare are all worried about healthcare costs,” she said. “This is part of it as well. I would hope that we would take a serious look at the cost of higher education and its value and contribution to the health of the nation.”

This story was originally posted on MedPage Today.

Virtual Reality Enhances Ohio University School of Nursing Education

Virtual Reality Enhances Ohio University School of Nursing Education

The Ohio University College of Health Sciences and Professions’ School of Nursing is putting virtual reality to use in the classroom. Assistant professor Sherleena Buchman helped create a Narcan simulation during the 2018 spring semester. Since then, the initial video simulation has been transformed into a virtual reality simulation.

A 360-degree video was made from cameras surrounding the Narcan simulation, which features two college students discovering a friend experiencing an opioid overdose. Throughout the scene, the students call 911 and work together to help their friend by administering Narcan.

“Using virtual reality goggles, the person can turn around and see everything. It’s really amazing,” Buchman shared with the CHSP Newsroom. “When you look down, you can see them going through the bag looking for Narcan. If you hear a noise, you can turn your head to look in that direction to see what’s going on. It’s just like you were physically in the room.”

Buchman believes that as the simulation becomes more realistic, the students will learn even more than they could in a traditional nursing education setting. Currently, this simulation is only available in the university’s GRID Lab, but Buchman is working to have the simulation eventually available on all smartphones. The simulation will help students learn not only about Narcan and how to administer it, but how to view and think about addiction without a stigma.

“It leaves you with a feeling of ‘Wow, I just watched someone overdose and watched them come back,’” said Buchman. “The reactions viewers gave were interesting and emotional. They showed compassion as we sometimes don’t consider the side of the actual person who overdosed and the feelings of those that found them.”

Currently this simulation is only available for laymen, but Buchman is working on another version specifically for Ohio University’s nursing students that can be used as a teaching tool. She feels excited and grateful about her success with the simulations so far.

“It’s been a pretty amazing journey. I love technology, simulation and education and the students today have grown up with technology in their hands. This is a way we can impact them that’s familiar,” Buchman said. “It’s amazing to think that we can help create something that will help patients and help our community by impacting this generation of students and community members who see this and will be able to carry out these actions on their own.”

Orbis Education and Mercer University Launch New ABSN Program in Atlanta

Orbis Education and Mercer University Launch New ABSN Program in Atlanta

Orbis Education and Mercer University recently partnered to launch an Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing (ABSN) program that offers qualified students in the Atlanta area a new, faster path into the high demand nursing profession.

Steve Hodownes, chief executive officer at Orbis Education, tells PRNewswire.com, “Mercer has a long history of educating nurses. We are very excited to be collaborating with this premier nursing school to help them expand their highly respected program.”

The first class of the new program is scheduled to start in May 2019 and Mercer will offer three start dates each year. Mercer’s ABSN program will enable students to leverage their existing non-nursing bachelor’s degrees to earn a BSN in as few as 12 months. Students enrolled in the program will learn through a combination of online coursework, onsite experience at a state-of-the-art lab facility to be developed and funded by Orbis, and clinical rotations at top area hospitals.

Orbis and Mercer partnered to create the new program in an effort to alleviate the nationwide nursing shortage, which is expected to hit critical levels in the next decade. Georgia is predicted to need an additional 13,510 registered nurses by 2026 in order to keep up with the demands of a rapidly growing population.

According to PRNewswire.com, Dr. Linda Streit, dean of nursing for Mercer University, says, “It is our duty to do everything we can as educators to keep up with the demand by providing excellent nursing education options like our new Accelerated BSN program in Atlanta. We are dedicated to developing knowledgeable, ethical, caring and compassionate nurses who are ready to become the next generation of highly qualified practicing nurse leaders in Georgia and across the nation.”

To learn more about Orbis Education and Mercer University’s new partnership to launch an ABSN program in Atlanta, visit here.


Gain a better understanding of the current state of the US health care system and how it might impact your work and life.

You have Successfully Subscribed!