Above: Dean Mary Burman
Robert Wood Johnson Fellowship [RWJF], a charitable organization devoted exclusively to health care issues, recently highlighted the University of Wyoming Fay W. Whitney School of Nursing's "BRAND" Program (accelerated BSN nursing program) in an article promoting rural nursing practice. The article noted the challenges for providing health care in rural areas, noting that nurses "often have to be generalists - ready to provide maternal/child care one moment and assist in surgery to treat a broken arm the next." UW School of Nursing provides their students with the education and clinical experiences to prepare them for such rural practice. Most experiences are in the state of Wyoming, but students may also take advantage of clinical experiences in Honduras at the UW clinic in Agua Salada (as pictured to the left).
The article is quoted below but can be found in its entirety by clicking here.
"Providing health care in rural areas presents numerous challenges. Hospitals and other health care settings have fewer resources and providers than those in urban or suburban areas, and many of these rural stings are critical access hospitals with as few as 25 beds. People who reside in rural areas often work in jobs requiring heavy physical labor such as mining, farming, or logging, and oftentimes those jobs don’t offer paid sick days or any other paid time off.
"As a result, patients tend to come to the hospital only when they are seriously ill or injured. Preparation for nursing practice in rural areas must address these issues. Nurses in rural areas often have to be generalists – ready to provide maternal/child care one moment and assist in surgery to treat a broken arm the next. They also need to be comfortable with providing care to people they know, as rural areas tend to be sparsely populated.
"A study conducted by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation RN Work Project found that most newly licensed registered nurses (88 percent) took their first jobs in the states where they earned their first nursing degree. With this in mind, nursing schools in states that are largely rural focus on providing nursing students with education and clinical experiences that will prepare them to practice in these rural areas.
"Wyoming and Minnesota both have large rural populations and the New Careers in Nursing (NCIN) grantee institutions in those states - the University of Wyoming and the College of St. Scholastica – are ensuring that their graduates have the skills, experiences and education they need to take on rural nursing practice.
"The University of Wyoming’s accelerated BSN program is also a distance learning program, to better accommodate people who live in the state – which is the least populated in the U.S. The Fay W. Whitney School of Nursing’s Bachelors Reach for Accelerated Nursing Degree (BRAND) program uses a variety of educational technologies, including webinars, video, audio and online live class sessions. The program also has partnerships with public and private hospitals with expert faculty.
"The BRAND program allows us to reach students who are site-bound,” said Candace Tull, MSN, RN, WHNP-BC, associate lecturer at the Fay W. Whitney School of Nursing and NCIN liaison. “Through this program, they can get the education and experience they need and we’re very grateful that the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation NCIN grant has let us expand our footprint all across the state.”
"The program also includes an optional spring practicum in the Central American country of Honduras where students are helping to build a clinic. The practicum takes place in a rural area of the country where people often have extremely serious health problems. During the practicum, nursing students work alongside pre-med students and pharmacy residents who also participate, giving them an important interprofessional practice experience in addition to a rural practice experience."
[The article continues on the RWJF site - linked HERE.]