Ashland University’s Dwight Schar College of Nursing and Health Sciences has been awarded $198,828 in renewal grant funding from the Ohio Board of Nursing’s Nurse Education Grant Program (NEGP). This two-year grant funding makes possible Ashland’s “Undergraduate Nursing Expansion: Services Excellence and Clinical Faculty Joint Appointments” project in partnership with OhioHealth Mansfield and Shelby Hospitals.

Goals of the project are to expand enrollment in Ashland University’s baccalaureate pre-licensure nursing education program by increasing available faculty resources and expanding clinical placement opportunities via implementation of two innovative models. Clinical site shortages and faculty shortages are national issues of concern in the education of future professional nurses and are barriers for universities to increasing enrollment.

“The program’s Service Excellence Model supports the OhioHealth provision of quality, safe patient care and the clinical education of Ashland University nursing students,” said Dr. Faye Grund, dean of the Dwight Schar College of Nursing and Health Sciences. “OhioHealth Mansfield and Shelby will continue to provide clinical preceptors for this project, giving Medical Surgical Immersion Experience guidance, direction and experiences to nursing students and faculty at Ohio Health.”

Grund said the Medical Surgical Immersion pilot program at OhioHealth Mansfield Hospital in the spring of 2017 supported the development of final semester nursing students with critical thinking, clinical judgment, quality improvement and leadership skills.

“The intended outcome of the program is to develop future nursing professionals who are more prepared for practice after graduation,” Grund said. “The outcome of the pilot project was an 88 percent placement rate of participating nursing students.”

The program includes a clinical preceptor coordinator at Ashland to work closely with nurse managers, clinical faculty, OhioHealth preceptors and Ashland nursing students to assure positive experiences for both the preceptors and students. In addition, an affiliate faculty joint appointment model will be developed to support consistent clinical education within the facility.

OhioHealth leadership was pleased with the grant partnership. “This is a great opportunity for the clinical and academic experts in our community to partner together to advance clinical expertise and workforce development,” said Jean Halpin, president of OhioHealth Mansfield and Shelby hospitals.

OhioHealth Mansfield and Shelby Hospitals are both not-for-profit facilities. OhioHealth Mansfield Hospital is a 326-bed facility, providing quality healthcare to north central Ohio since 1915. The hospital provides inpatient and outpatient services. OhioHealth Shelby hospital is a general acute critical access hospital that began serving the community in 1921.

Source: Ashland University

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