Sunday, August 10, 2008

Millions for Nursing Education

Drexel University’s College of Nursing and Health Professions in Philadelphia has been using technology to educate and train nurses for some time Now the University will share their expertise across the state and throughout the U.S. through a $1.4 million grant from HRSA.

The grant was awarded through HRSA’s “Faculty Development: Integrated Technology into Nursing Education and Practice Initiative” The grants fund collaboratives or partnerships formed with collegiate schools of nursing, academic health centers, accredited public or private institutions, and other organizations. The goal is to help the nursing faculty integrate technologies related to simulated learning, informatics, and telehealth into the nursing curriculum.

The nursing students at Drexel’s College of Nursing and Health Professions use PDAs complete with reference tools for the classroom and bedside. The students are also able to learn clinical procedures in a controlled environment at the “Center for Interdisciplinary Clinical Simulation and Practice Simulation Lab” where they use simulators such as SimMan and the Noelle Birthing simulator. In addition, more than 20 online courses and programs are available on the web.

With the HRSA funding, Drexel will now be able to use these technologies throughout the Pennsylvania/District of Columbia Nursing Education Technology Collaborative. The Community College of Philadelphia, Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania, and Howard University are part of the Collaborative.

As the lead school in the program, Drexel will train 45 partner-school faculty members at its facilities. The partner schools will then share their results throughout the State University and Community College System, and among Historically Black Colleges and Universities.

In a major move on August 1, 2008, HRSA awarded $12 million in grants to academic institutions and several hospital organizations not only for the “Faculty Development: Integrated Technology into Nursing Education and Practice Initiative” but grants were also awarded for HRSA’s “Nursing Workforce Diversity Program.” HRSA’s Bureau of Health Professions administers most of the agency’s nursing grant programs.

With this funding, nine Nursing Workforce Diversity Program awards totaling $2.8 million were made to seven universities and two community colleges. Funds will help educate and support pre-nursing and nursing students from disadvantaged backgrounds, including racial and ethnic minorities underrepresented among registered nurses.