School of Nursing & Health Professions awarded workforce grant

By Alex Pologruto | Oct 4, 2022

SONHP students practicing in new lab

Murray State University’s School of Nursing & Health Professions (SONHP) has been awarded a total of $307,800 in a workforce grant through the Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education’s (CPE) Healthcare Workforce Collaborative.

MURRAY, Ky. – Murray State University’s School of Nursing & Health Professions (SONHP) has been awarded a total of $307,800 in a workforce grant through the Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education’s (CPE) Healthcare Workforce Collaborative.

CPE’s Healthcare Workforce Collaborative distributed $8 million in grants to Kentucky’s public 2- and 4-year colleges and universities to help address the healthcare workforce shortage. The grants, funded by an appropriation from the General Assembly, will help the institutions expand their programs and provide student support to get more frontline healthcare workers trained and into the workforce.

The grant will fund a partnership with Murray Calloway County Hospital (MCCH)  to develop a Dedicated Education Unit (DEU) to deliver quality clinical nursing education. The plan for the partnership is to develop a clinical teaching workshop for designated Clinical RN Instructors who are current MCCH RN staff. The workshop will provide the RNs with fundamental knowledge, skills and attitudes needed to begin the journey of becoming effective clinical instructors. Nursing faculty will provide guidance and support to both RN clinical instructors and students while remaining on-site during the clinical experience. Students will experience their clinical rotation in one specific unit and work with one RN clinical instructor for the entire rotation. It is anticipated that this will be a pilot project and the intention is that this project will continue in the future.

The project will provide a supportive clinical environment that will enhance student success and has the potential for increasing enrollment in the BSN/RN-BSN programs at Murray State.

The outcomes of the DEU project will benefit the nursing students, the local community partnership with MCCH and further strengthen collaborative relations between the two. Nursing students will have the opportunity for enhanced development of the professional nursing role, increased self confidence, improved prioritization and increased collaboration with other healthcare  professions. MCCH will benefit by increased recruitment of BSN staff, improved staff satisfaction, improved collaboration, increased professionalism of staff and increased use of best practices. Combined, these outcomes will improve the quality of care that the patients receive and overall patient outcomes.

Additionally, the registered nurses (RN) to Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program at Murray State will also benefit in a partnership with regional KCTCS nursing programs to offer a $5,000 tuition waiver to 30 students who have received the Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) and plan to transition to the BSN program. Both entities are committed to educating nurses and the partnership will lead to the number of BSN prepared nurses in western Kentucky and improving patient and community outcomes.    

"Murray State University has a long history of providing high-quality nursing education to students. Over the past five years, Murray State has graduated over 520 baccalaureate-prepared nurses, and a large portion of these graduates practice in Kentucky. However, it is projected that Kentucky will need more than 16,000 additional nurses by 2024. To help address the nursing shortage, the SONHP will use the funds to provide scholarships to registered nurses who have received an associate's degree to complete the Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree,” said Dean of the SONHP Dr. Dina Byers. “This initiative is needed to provide nurses with additional education in leadership/management, community health and research. This initiative will also allow SONHP to collaborate with MCCH in developing a Designated Education Unit (DEU). By participating in the DEU, students will have specialized support and instruction from Registered Nurses working at MCCH. This educational experience will provide the necessary support to students and our goal is to retain all students admitted into the BSN program. We are excited about the opportunity and support given by the CPE initiative." 

Murray State has a long-standing clinical partnership with MCCH. Contact has been made with the Chief Nursing Office (CNO) of MCCH and a verbal agreement has been committed, and a formal memorandum of understanding is currently in progress.

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