The State Fair Community College Nursing program has been approved by the State Board of Nursing to receive a Nursing Education Incentive Grant for $149,730 from the Missouri Department of Higher Education. The funds will be used to add two full-time nursing staff, one for simulation collaboration activities and one for community liaison and to supplement another full-time faculty position.
Three goals have been set for the grant: increase simulation training sessions for students; increase student success support; and increase the number of students in the Associate Degree Nursing program.
Currently, only one staff oversees the use of four patient simulators and works one-on-one with students on academic or life issues that could impede their successful completion. The addition of a full-time position that oversees simulation will increase the quality and average number of training sessions from nine to 12 per semester. Consequently, the existing full-time position that covered both simulation sessions and student support will be dedicated to working with more students to boost their learning and increase graduation rates.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has designated eight of the 14 counties in SFCC’s service area as medically underserved, and all counties but Cole have been designated to have a shortage of health professionals. The addition of a full-time community liaison with a health background will build stronger relationships with high schools and community agencies to increase the number of quality applicants. Shifting responsibilities of the current position will afford more flexibility in student success options.
“We are thankful to have been approved for this funding and excited about improving our students’ learning and continuing to meet the need for quality health care professionals in our communities,” said Dr. Rhonda Hutton Gann, SFCC’s associate dean of Allied Health. “In the past, we have not had anyone responsible for community liaisons for any of our allied health programs. It is so important to be proactive in building relationships with potential students and community partners and to tell them about the rewarding careers in health care.”
The grant funding began July 1 and ends June 30, 2018. After that time, increased enrollment and SFCC’s normal budget process are expected to sustain the added positions.