Area nurses' educational options to expand
University earns $787,841 grant to grow master's program
Jun 20, 2008
By Jody Grenert
Ohio University's School of Nursing will use a three-year, $787,841 grant to launch an innovative program that will educate area nurses for acute-care and family-practitioner specialties.
The Grow Our Own program will be offered in the Southeast Ohio hospitals where the nurses currently work. Ohio University's College of Health and Human Services will use the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services grant to enhance the existing nursing master's degree program by adding the specialty options. The funds also will be used to add four online courses to the master's program and to hire a coordinator to oversee the collaboration between health facilities and the university.
The funds -- to be divided nearly equally over three years beginning this summer -- will help the School of Nursing accomplish two main goals, said Interim Director Kathleen Rose-Grippa: increase the region's resources for advanced nursing training and improve local retention of nursing program graduates.
"Ninety percent of the students in the School of Nursing are local and plan to stay in southeastern Ohio. With the program available in their place of work, more nurses will be able to seek an advanced degree that in turn improves health care in our traditionally underserved area," Rose-Grippa said.
Initially, the program will be offered at Fairfield Medical Center in Lancaster, which was chosen for its central location in the region. Plans call for expanding the program to include other regional hospitals, with Adena Regional Medical Center near Chillicothe committed to participate in the program's third year.
Securing the grant was a collaborative effort involving the university's College of Health and Human Services, home to the School of Nursing, and University Outreach, which oversees off-campus educational opportunities.
"This collaboration is an outstanding example of Ohio University reaching out to make education more accessible," said Charles Bird, vice provost for university outreach. "Creating opportunities for health-care professionals by partnering across providers and the university demonstrates what is possible in a very exciting way. This grant will make a very positive difference in our region."
The School of Nursing provides courses to students via several methods. Associate-degree courses are offered in classrooms on the university's Chillicothe, Zanesville and Southern campuses. The RN-to-BSN program is offered exclusively online. Existing master's degree courses combine classroom and online work. The new option in the master's program will offer courses at the hospitals where nurses work.
To speak with a university representative about this story, please contact Communications Director Jody Grenert, Ohio University College of Health and Human Services, at 740-593-1433 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or Interim Director Kathleen Rose-Grippa, Ohio University School of Nursing, at 740-593-4494 or email@example.com.
College of Health and Human Services: http://www.hhs.ohiou.edu/
School of Nursing: http://www.ohiou.edu/nursing/
Published: Jun 20, 2008 2:29 PM