January 15, 2009
WVU Parkersburg awarded $469,164 federal grant for virtual nurse education training project; one of 20 funded nationwide.
CONTACT: Dr. Rhonda Richards, executive dean of academic affairs, 304-424-8242.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
West Virginia University at Parkersburg is the recipient of a $469,164 federal Department of Labor grant to implement a virtual nurse education training program.
WVU Parkersburg’s grant award is one of 20 projects in 16 states funded from a pool of more than 190 applications. U.S. Secretary of Labor Elaine L. Chao announced $10 million of DOL grant projects, all of which are designed to increase access to technology-based learning.
The project, “Expanded Access Program: Utilizing Technology to Train Nurses in Our Rural Communities,” is a collaboration of WVU Parkersburg, the Mid-Ohio Valley Rural Health Alliance and the Workforce Investment Board of the Mid-Ohio Valley.
The project will create 13 new positions, including a program coordinator and 12 clinical staff.
WVU Parkersburg will partner with the Rural Health Alliance to expand its resident, point-to-point, broadcast network by establishing health-care learning centers to connect rural hospitals through distance education and increase opportunities to pursue health care careers.
"This project will expand access to nurse education in six communities by establishing learning centers that deliver live lecture broadcasts of a career ladder curriculum from certified nurse assistant (CNA) and licensed practical nurse (LPN) to the RN associate degree program," said WVU Parkersburg President Marie Foster Gnage.
"I commend Dr. Rhonda Richards, our executive dean of academic affairs; Rose Beebe, the chair of our Health Sciences Division; our grantswriter Kim Jones, and our project partners for developing a program which will provide educational opportunities to 120 students each year and respond to the high-demand area of nursing."
The health-care learning centers will be established in Jackson, Ritchie, Roane, Tyler, Wirt and Wood counties. The centers will allow students to access health-care curricula and support services while pursuing multi-level opportunities in the nursing industry.
"The project will create a nursing career ladder structure for the health care practitioner from entry level to professional nursing, accessible in their community," Dr. Richards noted.
By creating the expanded access program, WVU Parkersburg and its partners can implement an innovative program designed to address the pressing needs of the health care industry, she added.
A program specialist for health care will be hired to oversee technology operations and recruitment efforts for the project. In addition, 12 clinical supervisors will be employed at each of the rural hospital sites to coordinate activities related to the program of study and to offer remediation if needed.
An additional $310,946 from WVU Parkersburg and its project partners will be invested in the three-year project, bringing the technology-based nurse education training project total commitment to $780,110.