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NDMU Awarded 'Who Will Care?' Nursing Grant

April 24, 2014

Notre Dame of Maryland University School of Nursing has been awarded a $200,000 grant from the Maryland Hospital Association's Who Will Care? Fund for Nurse Education to help expand clinical placements for nursing students in the new-entry level baccalaureate program.  The grant has a particular focus on establishing new clinical community partners that serve clients who are medically underserved.

 “We are committed to exposing our students to a broad array of patients from a variety of backgrounds to prepare nurses who can deliver patient-centered, culturally competent care to those who are medically underserved in the Baltimore area,” said School of Nursing Dean Katharine Cook, PhD, RN. “This is essential to decreasing disparities in health outcomes in the Baltimore metropolitan region.”

The second award for Notre Dame from the Fund for Nurse Education will allow the hiring of a Clinical Placement Coordinator who will be responsible for securing placements at a variety of health facilities including at least five new clinical community partner sites that serve clients from medically underserved populations. The full-time position is expected to be filled by August 2014, as the second class of nursing majors in the Bachelor of Science in nursing begin the clinical component of their education.

Currently, Notre Dame RN-to-BSN students spend at least half of their clinical time working with medically underserved clients at 13 nonprofit organizations in Baltimore City, many of them affiliated with Catholic Charities, where they provide basic health-related services.  The nonprofit partner organizations range from the Esperanza Center (Latino immigrants) to My Sister’s Place (homeless women and children) and Health Care for the Homeless (homeless) to Johns Hopkins Hospital Bayview Center for Addiction and Pregnancy (drug-dependent mothers).  During the 2012-2013 academic year, 107 RN-to-BSN nursing students spent an estimated 6,848 hours at these partner sites. The Who Will Care? grant will expand clinical placements at these sites for the 90 entry-level BSN students expected to be enrolled in the program by next fall.

In addition, the grant will fund 25 iPads for clinical nursing faculty to engage nursing students in the clinical setting using applications such as medication and dosage guides, according to Project Director Erica Brinkley, DNP, RN, assistant professor of nursing.  Grant funds also will be used for faculty development for clinical nursing faculty and Assessment Technologies Institute online resources for junior nursing students, she said.

The Fund for Nurse Education and Notre Dame's entry-level Bachelor of Science in nursing program were created in response to a projected shortage of nurses in Maryland and nationwide. The first Who Will Care? grant awarded to the School of Nursing in April 2013 funded standardized testing throughout the nursing curriculum, as well as two new support staff positions. The latest grant is administered by the Maryland Healthcare Education Institute, an affiliate of the Maryland Hospital Association.