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UW School of Nursing Receives $280,000 Grant

November 18, 2009

The Fay W. Whitney School of Nursing and the Wyoming Center for Nursing and Health Care Partnerships (WCNHCP) has received a $280,000 grant from the Wyoming Workforce Development Council and Department of Workforce Services Industry Partnership Solutions to address the state's present and future need for highly-educated nurses.

The project, led by Mary Burman, dean and professor of the nursing school, and Matt Sholty, of WCNHCP, aims to enhance educational capacity for nursing in the state. This will be accomplished through alignment and articulation of educational programs and employers' needs, fostering interest in nursing as a professional career and providing leadership development in nursing.

"This project brings together a variety of individuals and organizations from across the state of Wyoming to address nursing education and the recruitment and retention of nurses," Burman says. "The partnership approach used in this project is critically important so that we have educators, employers, professional organizations, advocacy groups, workforce services and economic development organizations and foundations at the table addressing nursing workforce issues."

It is estimated that, by 2014, 3,300 more registered nurses will be needed to work in the state, a 103.9 percent increase from the 2006 workforce. To aid the state's quest, Burman and Sholty plan to bring together industry partners to explore creative ways to expand nursing education through curriculum and clinical redesign, strategic partnerships and enhanced faculty capacity in the state.

The project includes an "Image of Nursing" campaign to raise awareness of nursing as a career for those who may not typically consider it, such as men and minorities. The campaign will also focus on youth, specifically junior high students, by stressing nursing's positive challenges and opportunities and the need for solid academic preparation.

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