The Associate Degree of Nursing program at Texas Southmost College will soon be able to increase its training opportunities thanks to a Nursing Innovation Grant from the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board.
TSC’s nursing program is one of 45 nursing programs throughout the state to receive this grant. The $75,000 grant will support clinical learning experiences. It will also support the program’s use of evidence-based alternatives to hands-on practice with patients.
“To be a new nursing program and to receive this opportunity is exciting to say the least,” said Beth Kasprisin, TSC director of nursing. “It’s been a challenging time and this will help us strike down limitations.”
As of March 2020, the nursing program has been administered remotely as hospitals closed their clinical sites to students. Prior to receiving this grant, TSC invested in simulation software that allows students to practice patient assessment, care and diagnosis, as well as, work through hospital scenarios.
“We’ve really been able to build on our skills while learning from home because of this software,” said nursing student Daisy Lucas. “Even now that we’ve returned to clinical rotations, the software is a great supplemental tool. And hearing about the plans the program has for this nursing innovation grant is exciting.”
New Path to Clinical Hours
Kasprisin said the Nursing Innovation Grant will enhance the program’s 10-bed nursing hospital lab. Funds will help purchase four new mid-fidelity mannequins fitted with simulation scenarios.
TSC’s nursing department will also use the funds for a virtual clinical software solution. Compatible with the mid-fidelity mannequin, the software allows faculty to deliver simulation activities in a remote setting. It can also be of use for professional development, with faculty learning how to implement simulation scenarios and operate the new software and mannequins.
“Everything with this pandemic is unknown. Right now our students are back at the hospitals, but that could change quickly, so we have to be ready,” said Kasprisin. “With this grant, we’ll be able to provide students with simulation instruction in lieu of clinical hours due to COVID-19, it prepares us for long-term program growth and students won’t miss a beat.”