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Cheyenne Regional Health System Gift of $250,000 Supports UW Nursing

January 28, 2020
woman examines a training mannequin
High school student Katelyn France, of Rawlins, checks out a patient simulator mannequin in UW’s Fay W. Whitney School of Nursing during the Health Care Careers Summer Camp hosted by the UW College of Health Sciences last summer. A new partnership between the Fay W. Whitney School of Nursing and the Cheyenne Regional Health System will create a nursing faculty position. (UW Photo)

A gift of $250,000 from the Cheyenne Regional Health System will create a nursing faculty position in the University of Wyoming’s Fay W. Whitney School of Nursing.

“Cheyenne Regional is excited about the opportunity to partner with the Fay W. Whitney School of Nursing to help enhance nursing education, not only in our community, but also across the entire region,” says Cheyenne Regional Chief Nursing Officer Tracy Garcia. “Nursing requires extensive and lifelong education to stay on top of all the advances in health care. This partnership will help ensure that nurses in our health system and region have an opportunity to continue to learn, a vital part of providing high-quality nursing care.”

In December, Cheyenne Regional, which includes Cheyenne Regional Medical Center and its affiliated medical group, partnered with the Fay W. Whitney School of Nursing to create a shared faculty position. The position will be funded by both organizations over five years. Position responsibilities include teaching, student advising, research and creative activities, service to the university and community, and administrative responsibilities.

“The Fay W. Whitney School of Nursing has been proud to partner with Cheyenne Regional in the education of nurses in Wyoming,” Dean Sherrill Smith says. “This new partnership will allow us to continue to expand our growth of nurses in the state, especially in the area of evidence-based practice to promote safe patient care.”

This academic-practice partnership aims to further develop the UW student learning experience, recruit Cheyenne Regional staff into the UW nursing program and enhance patient care. The collaboration will help to develop UW student learning. Cheyenne Regional provides students with substantial clinical experience and hires UW graduates.

In general, partnerships between the Fay W. Whitney School of Nursing and other community health care facilities are vital to UW nursing students, as they improve the quality of students’ education. While other universities offer hundreds of hours of clinical experience, UW is able to provide more than 1,000 hours because of these alliances.

The partnership will make higher education available to nurses at the center and in the Cheyenne area. It aims to increase the number of Cheyenne Regional staff members who have Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) or higher degrees.

Overall, the partnership will provide current nursing professionals with direct, flexible paths to earn their BSN degrees. Academic and career advising will be made available for nurses in the BSN completion program.

Both Cheyenne Regional and the Fay W. Whitney School of Nursing will have input in the hiring of the candidate, as well as performance appraisal.

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