Ohio Northern University has received a $200,000 Nurse Education Grant Program grant from the Ohio Board of Nursing for the 2019-2021 grant cycle.
Funds from the grant will be used to increase enrollment and diversity of students in the BSN program. High-fidelity and virtual reality simulation training equipment will also be purchased with the grant funds in an effort to appeal to prospective students and offer technologically advanced lab experiences to current students.
“Ohio Northern continues to be committed to high-impact learning, and the grant monies will support the purchase of two high-fidelity mannequins. This will offer students opportunities to simulate patient scenarios in the lab, live stream or videotape student encounters and share afterwards, or bring equipment into the classroom as students assess strengths and weaknesses of their performance,” said Kami Fox, ONU’s director of nursing and chair of the Department of Nursing. “These mannequins are some of the best in the industry and have pulses, pupil responses, chest rise and fall, etc., that allow students to practice and experience patient situations that they may not encounter in their clinical experiences.”
The virtual reality components allow students to wear a headset and transport their view into the human body. For example, they can see the beating heart as they see a pulse being recorded, and they can see into the chambers of the heart and how the blood is circulating. These types of experiences and training help students apply knowledge to practice and increase understanding and confidence in providing care. The first disbursement of grant money is expected in September, and plans are to have the mannequins on campus and the faculty trained in the 2019 fall semester.
“This simulation equipment will allow our students to receive the most current and relevant training in preparing them for their profession,” Fox said. “Our nursing program takes pride in providing our students with high-impact learning opportunities so that they are prepared to succeed in their endeavors and make a positive impact in providing quality care for patients, families and communities. This grant will support that type of high-quality learning experience.”
Beyond the development of technical abilities, ONU emphasizes the personal skills that are valuable in all career fields, particularly health care. The ONU nursing program’s latest five-year first-time pass rate on the NCLEX nursing board exam is a stellar 96.3 percent.
The ONU nursing program enrolls approximately 140 students in its bachelor’s degree program, which prepares students for careers in the growing health care industry.