University of Minnesota School of Nursing Will Expand Mental Health Services to Under-Served Areas

University of Minnesota School of Nursing Will Expand Mental Health Services to Under-Served Areas

After receiving a $2.1 million grant from the Health Resources and Services Administration , the University of Minnesota (UMN) School of Nursing has decided to expand their mental health services to underserved parts of the state. UMN will be partnering with the Amherst H. Wilder Foundation, Touchstone Mental Health, and Northern Pines Mental Health Center to train students and provide mental health and primary care to rural areas of the state.

Amy Ward, director of health and initiatives at the Wilder Foundation, tells MNDaily.com, “Our goal is to train, mentor and bring along the next generation of mental health professionals who hail from communities that don’t typically get mental health services because they don’t have someone who reflects their culture, language and background.”

In addition to training nursing students, UMN’s mental health initiative will also include training pharmacy, psychiatry, and family nurse practitioner students to breach barriers between disciplines and provide better care overall. Merrie Kaas, nursing professor and project lead at UMN, believes that mental health problems also affect physical health and the ability to reach out for primary care. Therefore, the initiative will aim to increase awareness of a lack of mental health resources across the state and a link between poor primary care and poor mental health.

The initiative will use telehealth technology to support long-distance clinical health care and education, promoting collaboration across the three disciplines. This will allow for more flexible care, especially for clients in urban environments who don’t have access to a clinic.

To learn more about UMN’s initiative to provide mental health services to under-served areas in their state, visit here.

University of Minnesota Nursing School Will Add Focus on Substance Abuse among Nurses to Curriculum

University of Minnesota Nursing School Will Add Focus on Substance Abuse among Nurses to Curriculum

The University of Minnesota School of Nursing (UMN) will be implementing a new focus on substance abuse among registered nurses. This isn’t an issue commonly covered in nursing programs, but the university wants students to be aware of addiction and address the stigma surrounding it.

Professor Christine Mueller and doctoral student Dina Stewart were responsible for creating the curriculum. Stewart plans to become a psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner following her graduation. Their curriculum will highlight substance abuse as an issue among nurses, not only how it pertains to nurses, as covered by most nursing programs.

Stewart tells the Minnesota Daily that, “Even though the addiction rate among nurses is on par with the general population – around 10 percent – substance abuse is often more evident and problematic given that nurses have easy access to medication.” Having higher access puts nurses at a higher risk for substance abuse, especially when combined with a high-stress work environment.

Mueller and Stewart simply want to make nurses aware that substance abuse disorders are a risk for nurses. Their curriculum will teach students how to identify the signs and symptoms of substance abuse and how to recognize behaviors in themselves and their colleagues. Stigma surrounding addiction will also be addressed. Addiction is a disease, and Mueller wants the curriculum to teach students that addiction should be identified and treated as a disease to help lessen stigma.

Nursing is considered one of the most trusted professions in the healthcare system, and that holds nurses to a high ethical standard. The better they understand the risk, the better the outcome will be.

To learn more about UMN’s new nurse substance abuse curriculum, visit here.

University of Minnesota Provides Entrepreneurial Training to Nursing Students with “Planting Seeds of Innovation” Event

University of Minnesota Provides Entrepreneurial Training to Nursing Students with “Planting Seeds of Innovation” Event

Last week nursing students at the University of Minnesota (UM) convened for the second consecutive year of entrepreneurial training at an event called “Planting Seeds of Innovation.” Nurses spend more time with patients than other caregivers, providing them with a wealth of knowledge about how medical products work that has gone untapped for many years. The UM School of Nursing aims to go beyond day-to-day patient care and provide their nursing students with the skills they need to think like entrepreneurs.

Thomas Clancy, a clinical professor in the school of nursing and organizer of the entrepreneurial event, tells BizJournals.com, “There’s a national push encouraging nurses to play a more active role in inventing and tweaking products, partly because they’re already heavy users of medical equipment.” The School of Nursing hosted a similar workshop last year which brought in 30 participants; this year more than 130 participants showed up to learn about medical entrepreneurship.

Many nurses have ideas about how to make medical equipment function better. In the last year, Clancy has seen products like tools to assess the severity of skin breakdown, a breathing tube to prevent accidental teeth damage, and a vein finding flashlight. He also noted there has been an increase in ideas for medical and nursing apps. Some nurses’ ideas are still in the formative stages while others are closer to becoming businesses. The goal of the program is to assist nurses with their ideas by connecting them with the Office of Technology Commercialization and the university’s medical devices center.

Visit here to learn more about University of Minnesota’s “Planting Seeds of Innovation” event.