Montgomery College Awarded $208,000 Grant to Increase Nursing Graduates

Grant will support the expansion of patient simulation teaching strategies for nursing students

Montgomery College will receive nearly $208,000 in grant funding over three years from the Who Will Care? Fund for Nurse Education campaign. The campaign is an initiative established in 2008 by a group of stakeholders, including the Maryland Hospital Association and health care and academic leaders, to double the number of nursing graduates in Maryland by providing funds to the state’s nursing schools. The grant program is administered by the Maryland Healthcare Education Institute, an affiliate of the Maryland Hospital Association.

Montgomery College will use the Who Will Care? grant to expand the use of simulations in its nursing program, located at the Takoma Park/Silver Spring Campus. Nursing simulation is an active-learning strategy that involves using life-sized mannequins as patients with a computerized interface and video component, allowing instructors to create realistic patient care scenarios and to teach students crucial decision-making and patient care skills.

Patient simulation has become an increasingly important way for nursing programs to train students to respond appropriately in emergency patient situations and to promote critical thinking in patient care situations. The newly developed simulations will be in medication administration scenarios and home health nursing, and will be recorded and made available, free of charge, to nurse educators via the College’s Nursing Simulation Scenario Library website: http://cms.montgomerycollege.edu/nursingsims/.

The funding for nursing simulations is the College’s second Who Will Care? grant. The first grant of nearly $235,000 enabled the College to create three new nursing laboratories, a seven-room simulation suite, and to train faculty and staff in the use of simulation scenarios. As a result, Montgomery College increased its nursing enrollment from 296 to more than 400 per year, helping to meet the Who Will Care? campaign’s goal of addressing Maryland’s nursing work force shortage.

The Who Will Care? campaign has attracted a broad-based group of concerned hospital, insurance, business and academic leaders, as well as nurses, long-term care providers and concerned private citizens. Since 2008, donors have pledged more than $15.5 million, including some who designated their funds for particular nursing schools. Holy Cross Hospital pledged $250,000 to the campaign as part of its relationship with Montgomery College.

“Thanks to the Who Will Care? grants, including the designated support from Holy Cross Hospital, we are growing our nursing program and improving student learning outcomes with updated instructional equipment, state-of-the-art simulation labs, and better trained faculty and staff,” said Barbara Nubile, associate dean of health sciences and director of nursing at Montgomery College. “We are grateful for this partnership, which is helping individual nursing students reach their career goals, as well as providing our community with a better trained health care workforce.”

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