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Texas Health, UT-Arlington Partner for Nursing Education Grant
06/04/2010

ARLINGTON, Texas — The Center for Learning and Career Development at Texas Health Resources has been awarded a Hospital-Based Nursing Education Partnership program grant of $550,753 from the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board. The grant will expand a joint Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program between Texas Health and the University of Texas at Arlington College of Nursing.

The grant will enable Texas Health to increase the capacity of the current BSN program partnership with UT-Arlington to 80 students annually by developing a clinical faculty education program for Texas Health master’s degree-prepared nurses. The nurse educators will become adjunct faculty members while continuing to practice.

“This grant is great news, not just for Texas Health and UT-Arlington, but for patients across North Texas,” said Bonnie Bell, executive vice president for People and Culture at Texas Health. “We’re investing in our existing nursing staff at the same time that we’re expanding our nursing workforce based on forecasted shortages in this critical patient care area.”

The funding supports an online, accelerated (15-month) program leading to a BSN. Students include hospital employees as well as individuals from the community. Graduates serve at least two years as a registered nurse at Texas Health hospitals.

The program will be enhanced by faculty members recruited from hospital staff. Grant funding will be used to provide faculty immersion courses aimed at delivering clinical education to nursing students. In conjunction with UT-Arlington’s College of Nursing, the grant will also fund a project coordinator, provide a computer testing lab to support Web-based testing and expand clinical simulation course delivery.

“At Texas Health we practice continual learning and improvement through innovative programs such as the accelerated BSN and other nursing education initiatives,” said Jim Dunn, Ph.D., Texas Health vice president and chief learning officer. “This grant will help us enhance our clinical education faculty and simulation technology to shorten the time from the students’ initial orientation to independent nursing practice.”

The expansion of clinical educator opportunities for Texas Health nurses is part of the system’s Nursing Career Advancement Program, launched last year to help nurses advance professionally without leaving their bedside practice in the hospital.

“Texas Health encourages nurses to pursue their educational and professional goals, and becoming a clinical educator is a key facet of that development,” said Joan Clark, M.S.N., R.N., NEA-BC, CENP, FACHE, FAAN, senior vice president and chief nursing executive for Texas Health. “Expanding educational opportunities for existing and student nurses will help us continually improve the quality and safety of care we deliver.”

Beth Mancini, Ph.D., R.N., associate dean of the UT-Arlington College of Nursing, said the grant will play a critical role in bridging the preparation-practice gap that can exist between academic and hospital-based programs.

“The major portion of these funds will be used to help develop faculty needed to educated new nurses in Texas,” said Mancini. “We will prepare them to become educators not only in their field, but also in their workplace.”

Texas Health received the grant under the Hospital-Based Nursing Education Partnership Program of the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board. The competitive, peer-reviewed program was created by the Texas Legislature in 2007. The program is designed to increase the number of professional nursing education program enrollees and graduates through support for educational initiatives that promote collaboration between hospitals and nursing education programs.

About Texas Health Resources
Texas Health Resources is one of the largest faith-based, nonprofit health care delivery systems in the United States and the largest in North Texas in terms of patients served. Texas Health’s system of 13 hospitals includes Texas Health Harris Methodist, Texas Health Arlington Memorial, Texas Health Presbyterian, and an organization for medical research and education. Texas Health is a partner in eight additional hospitals or surgery centers. Texas Health Physicians Group provides a variety of models for engagement with physicians. Texas Health Partners is a joint venture development and management company owned by Texas Health Resources. Texas Health MedSynergies is a joint venture that offers physicians a range of office management and other business services to support their practices. Texas SingleSource Staffing is a joint venture designed to help Texas Health hospitals improve patient care by recruiting and retaining quality nurses and allied healthcare professionals. For more information about Texas Health Resources, call 1-877-THR-WELL, or visit TexasHealth.org.

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