College of Nursingreceives training grant

The USF College of Nursing is one of only two colleges in the nation to be awarded a five-year, $1.3 million federal grant from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA). Its goal is to use the money to help strengthen state health care education.

HRSA, which operates as an agency within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, focuses on improving the social health care system and provides states with funding for the uninsured.

Dr. Laura Gonzalez, an assistant professor and director of the Center of Virtual Simulation at the College of Nursing, said the grant, which was awarded over the summer, is entitled “Faculty Development: Integrated Technology into Nursing Education and Practice Initiative” and is the first the college has received to train other nursing educators.

Nursing instructors will receive training on how to teach nursing students to use “emerging health care technology,” said Anne Baier, director of public affairs for the college.

She said they are currently enrolling those who are interested and the training will begin in January 2011.

“The aim is to reach out to nursing faculty from the state of Florida, and provide them with content in the areas of simulation, informatics and tele-health,” Gonzalez said. “In turn, they can include this additional content in their curriculum and syllabus, thereby producing better informed nursing graduates.”

She said simulation refers to a teaching strategy that provides realistic scenarios

seen in the health profession. Informatics is using information technology and decision support software to make clinical decisions, and tele-health is a form of reaching out to patients in remote areas and providing care using a modem or webcam.

Dianne Morrison-Beedy, dean of the College of Nursing, said USF is staying up-to-date with its training program.

“They came up with a very innovative program to address a critical need in nursing education, which is how to train in a way that they are up-to-date,” she said. “We have five years at USF Health to accomplish this goal of training faculty across Florida and those who worked on the grant are recognized as leaders of this field. We’re very proud, and very excited for it.”

– Additional reporting by Allison Buckner