The University of Alabama at Birmingham has recently opened its new state-of-the-art School of Nursing building. With a 72,000-square-foot expansion and renovation, complete with the latest technology-enhanced classrooms and competency labs, the School of Nursing building is already being put to good use by students, faculty and staff alike.
Doreen Harper, PhD, RN, FAAN, Dean of the UAB School of Nursing and Fay B. Ireland endowed Chair in Nursing, says the excitement is evident as everyone discovers how to live and learn in the new facility. “Our students and faculty are learning and collaborating in open, light-filled spaces throughout the day. Classrooms are structured to engage students in flipped classrooms, using video streaming and sharing through computers and other digital devices. Faculty have their own windowed offices rather than working in groups as well as convenient conference rooms for meeting with students throughout the building.”
The technology provided within the new facility is playing a major role in furthering nursing education, research and clinical practice, by providing resources that encourage student engagement and collaboration. Classrooms have device-sharing technology, smartboards, and short throw projectors that allow students to more easily share their screens with instructors and fellow students. The Innovation Collaboratory, a special classroom within the new UAB School of Nursing facility, gives students the chance to share ideas and information through interactive workstations with streaming capabilities.
Jacqueline Moss, Ph.D, Associate Dean for Technology and Innovation in the School of Nursing, says the technology is designed to maximize interaction and engagement of students. “We are able to stream video from simulations happening in our nursing competency suites, from presenters at a distance, and engage with patients where they live. In addition, all classrooms are equipped with device sharing hardware and software that allows students to work in groups and share that work with the entire class by sharing their work on their personal computers.”
These virtual educational experiences made possible by the new technology provide education and professional development, and can be used to reach rural patients through telehealth research and clinical activities. Health care for the medically underserved in rural and urban Alabama will continue to grow and improve as a result.
Dean Harper notes that in addition to gaining new technology and space, the programs within the school are growing in response to the continuous need for highly educated, compassionate and competent nurses. “We have expanded our pre-licensure programs at the baccalaureate and master’s level to accommodate more than 60 new nursing pre-licensure students annually. Likewise, given the critical need for nursing administrators, managers, informaticians and executive leaders, our nursing health care systems major is being tailored to recruit nursing leaders and innovators from across the nation. We have also developed new coursework in perioperative nursing, transplant nursing, design thinking and biomedical informatics research to be offered.”
To learn more about the new, expanded UAB School of Nursing building, click here.
Arizona State University (ASU) and Eastern Arizona College (EAC) have partnered to create a concurrent enrollment program that allows students to earn their bachelor’s degree from ASU while studying at EAC’s campus in Thatcher, Arizona.
The partnership between EAC and ASU, called the EAC-ASU Baccalaureate Nursing Program, allows students to take class for both their associate and bachelor’s degrees at the same time. It is a quicker, cheaper, and more flexible option than other traditional nursing education tracks, offering hybrid courses that allow students to do their work online at their own pace but ask professors questions in person.
Program director Carolyn McCormies tells ASUNow.ASU.edu, “Research shows that patient outcomes are better when nurses have a higher level of education, but many nurses with associate degrees find it very difficult to go back to school once they start working or have families. Our graduates have the opportunity to earn a bachelor’s degree along with their associate. The whole community benefits from having a program like this in their midst.”
A main goal of the program is to ensure that skilled healthcare professionals and quality care aren’t lost to bigger cities. ASU and EAC aim to keep graduates of the program in rural areas. Each semester, students in the program are required to complete 10 hours of community service as well as four hours of “leadership time” mentoring underclassmen.
To learn more about Arizona State University’s partnership with Eastern Arizona College to encourage nurses to work in rural areas, visit here.
Florida International University’s (FIU) Nicole Wertheim College of Nursing & Health Sciences has awarded $100,000 in traineeship grants to five FIU nurse practitioner graduate students to participate in the pilot of the Advanced Nursing Education Workforce (ANEW) program.
ANEW is a two-year nursing education initiative funded by the US Human Resources & Services Administration to prepare advanced practice nurses to provide primary care in rural and underserved areas.
Tami Thomas, associate dean of research for the college and ANEW grant project director, tells News.FIU.edu, “Many of today’s 60 million rural Americans are uninsured, at risk for increased health risk behaviors, and live in poverty at even higher levels than what we see in our big cities. ANEW addresses this inequity by familiarizing nurse practitioners with the challenges and opportunities of working in rural health care settings and preparing them to work to the fullest scope of their abilities.”
The health departments of Glades and Hendry counties will be providing five clinical sites and onsite instructional supervisors to guide the trainees during their training program. FIU nursing faculty will also supplement the training by using telehealth systems to help ANEW trainees deliver care at the clinics.
The first cohort of ANEW trainees are all graduate nursing students from FIU’s Family Nurse Practitioner track. Each trainee will receive up to $20,000 to help cover tuition, living and housing expenses, and textbooks. Their clinical rotation begins in summer 2018.
To learn more about FIU’s rural primary care nursing apprenticeship program and the first cohort of trainees, visit here.
Florida A&M University (FAMU) will be placing new focus on preparing nursing students to serve in rural and underserved communities thanks to a $1.3 million grant from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA).
The project, called the Academic-Practice Partnerships Enhance Advanced Learning (APPEAL), is intended to advance the health and life success of Florida communities through the diversification of health professions. Students in the FAMU School of Nursing will work in partner primary care clinical practice sites in medically underserved and rural communities to help increase the number of Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRNs) working in those areas.
Henry C. Talley, PhD, dean of the School of Nursing and principal investigator for the grant, tells FAMUNews.com, “The HRSA grant and our new APPEAL project position us to not only train the next generation of nursing professionals on how to serve rural and underserved communities but also allows us to help eliminate health care disparities for families and individuals who deserve the best care available despite their financial status or location.”
APRNs are trained to serve as direct patient care providers in the state of Florida and can offer services including preventing, diagnosing, and treating illnesses. Through new partnerships, the APPEAL project will provide hands-on training for advanced practice nursing students, preparing them for successful entry to community-based, primary care settings in rural and underserved areas.
To learn more about FAMU’s APPEAL project and new nursing grant, visit here.
The University of Michigan-Flint (UM-Flint) recently received a $1.2 million Advanced Nursing Education Workforce grant to help prepare nurse practitioners to care for patients in underserved and rural areas. The grant will also help the School of Nursing develop and evaluate partnerships with rural medical clinics and centers.
Over the next two years, 30 nurse practitioner students will be selected to take part in the grant and receive specialized education on how to care for rural populations. The financial support provided by the grant will allow these students to complete clinical placements in rural areas of Michigan and increase the pipeline of health care providers for these populations.
Margaret Andrews, Interim Dean of the School of Nursing, tells News.UMFlint.edu, “Nurse practitioners serving rural communities provide many preventative services, detect and treat illnesses, increase life expectancy of rural residents, and improve the overall health and quality of life for rural communities. UM-Flint is pleased to partner with existing physicians and nurse practitioner practices in Michigan’s rural areas to educate and train the next generation of nurse practitioners to serve the needs of rural communities in Michigan.”
To learn more about UM-Flint’s Advanced Nursing Education Workforce grant and efforts to increase the number of nurse practitioners trained to serve in rural areas, visit here.
The Louisiana State University (LSU) Health New Orleans School of Nursing was recently awarded a $1.4 million federal grant to help prepare primary care advanced practice registered nurses to practice in rural and underserved areas.
The grant was awarded by the Health Resources and Services Administration’s (HRSA) Advanced Nursing Education Workforce (ANEW) program and will be distributed over the course of two years. Funding is expected to target clinical training in the school’s primary care family and adult gerontology primary care nurse practitioner programs.
Twenty-five students will receive trainee awards ranging from $1,500 to $8,000 per academic year. Eligible students who are enrolled full-time will receive direct aid to help with tuition, books, and living expenses. The program will also help support academic-practice partnerships for students, including a partnership with University Medical Center New Orleans Ambulatory Clinics for students working in underserved areas of the state.
To learn more about LSU’s nursing programs and available grants for students serving in rural areas, visit here.