ASC nursing program earns Caring for Colorado grant

(09-01-2011)

The Caring for Colorado Foundation recently awarded a grant of $79,878 to the Adams State College Nursing Department. Dr. Amanda Jojola, department chair, said the funds will support a clinical placement coordinator/simulation lab facilitator position, as well as assessment instruments to improve program performance through student and faculty feedback.

"Caring for Colorado has been extremely gracious to our Nursing Program," Jojola said. Ultimately, their generosity allows us to better prepare students for clinical practice and hopefully for graduate school." Previous grants from the foundation, totaling $193,000, have supported construction of the nursing simulation lab and installation of smart boards in three classrooms.

ASC nursing students hone their skills in the San Luis Valley Center for Clinical Excellence's nursing simulation lab on campus.

Students enrolled in Adams State's four-year Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program are required to complete 750 hours of clinical experience, which must be coordinated with health care institutions both locally and on the Front Range. "Thanks to the grant, Greta Roberts, RN,BSN, is coordinating those placements, freeing faculty to concentrate on instruction," Jojola added.

The grant also supports use of a computer aptitude testing from Health Education Systems, Inc. (HESI)to improve student performance in class and on NCLEX-RN exam. It evaluates students' strengths and weakness and points to areas needing remediation. "The results will also help us assess our instruction and make any necessary changes," Jojola said.

A third component of the grant project is use of Educational Benchmarking, Inc. (EBI), which conducts surveys of recent nursing graduates and their employers regarding their satisfaction with the Adams State program. The resulting feedback will also be used for program improvement.

Adams State graduated its first cohort of four-year BSN students in May 2011. Enrollment will increase by another 30 students in spring 2012 to reach a total of 71 four-year BSN students. An additional 16 students are enrolled in the on-line RN-to-BSN degree completion program, launched this fall. Jojola expects to recruit two cohorts each year of ten to twenty students each for that program.

ASC Nursing Department

By Julie Waechter