ASHLAND — Ashland University’s Dwight Schar College of Nursing and Health Sciences was awarded $199,325 in renewal grant funding from the Ohio Board of Nursing’s Nurse Education Grant Program. This two-year grant funding makes possible Ashland University’s Accent on the Individual: Increasing Student Enrollment and Faculty/Instruction Personnel through Academic/Health Care System Partnerships.
According to Dr. Faye Grund, dean of the Dwight Schar College of Nursing and Health Sciences, this project is designed to increase baccalaureate professional nurses and promote graduate nursing education. NEGP 2015-17 grant program partnerships with Marion Technical College and Stark State College will continue through 2019, in addition to new grant partnerships with North Central State College and Avita Health System.
“Goal one of the project is to increase Ashland University’s RN to BSN program enrollment capacity by 50 students in 2019,” Grund said. “Associate degree students at partnering institutions will have the opportunity to dually enroll at their institution and Ashland’s CONHS to streamline their pathway from an associate’s degree to a bachelor’s degree.”
Dr. Jody Hostetler said the project is designed to provide a seamless progression for nurses seeking to complete a baccalaureate degree.
“This model promotes adult student success by offering courses in a more manageable and supportive 16-week hybrid delivery method on the grant partner campuses,” she added. “Avita Health System nurses will receive support for those new to online learning including a hybrid delivery of the seven-week courses in the 16-week semester, both face-to-face and online at the Avita Health System campuses.”
The second project goal increases graduate nursing programs enrollment capacity by 40 students in 2019. Grund said this increase of Ohio nursing students will be accomplished through the expansion of recruiting resources, student advising and education models for graduate candidates at partnering institutions.
Kathy Durflinger, vice president and chief nursing officer for Avita Health System, said Avita Health System is very excited to partner and participate in the RN to BSN Grant Program with Ashland University.
“As an organization, we are committed to staff development and ongoing professional education. In our efforts to meet the state and national goal that all registered nurses achieve their BSN by the year 2020, this grant opportunity is a practical way to offer the BSN courses onsite at the Avita Health System facilities,” Durflinger said. “Avita nurses will not have to travel to the college campus but instead can attend classes at the hospital campus, which is convenient and appealing to them. Registered nurses make up the largest percentage of employees at Avita and we are grateful to be able to provide this educational opportunity with Ashland University to our staff.”