Nursing gets $1.132 million
Graduate students in pilot program benefit
For the 20 nursing students sitting in the middle of an ethics class, it was a puzzling interruption when a covey of faculty members entered the room bearing a cake, a bunch of blue and orange balloons, a camera and knowing smiles. Puzzlement soon shifted to jubilance when the students learned that they all are now Fuld Leadership Fellows thanks to a new grant from the Helene Fuld Health Trust, HSBC Bank USA, N.A., Trustee that covers a significant portion of their tuition.
The $1,132,000 award will provide tuition support for the first two cohorts of U.Va.’s pilot Clinical Nurse Leader program and leadership development that also will benefit faculty and preceptors. All CNL students have received at least a bachelor’s degree in another discipline and are now in an intense two-year program to become nurses who will enter the field as a clinical generalist with a master’s degree. This grant means that each in-state student will receive $10,000 in support each year of their program; out-of-state students will be granted $17,000.
“We were especially pleased that the trust granted the full amount of our proposal request,” said David Black, assistant vice president for Health System development-nursing. “This will mean a lot to our students, some of whom have been working two jobs while going to school.”
In meetings with the trustees of the foundation, School of Nursing Dean Jeanette Lancaster learned that their aim is to support projects that prepare nursing leaders. While a number of other nursing schools nationwide have developed CNL pilot programs, none has been as far-reaching and fundamentally new as U.Va.’s groundbreaking program, which features a close collaboration with the Medical Center.
Arlene Keeling, Centennial Distinguished Professor of Nursing, who has been instrumental in the school’s efforts to establish this new program, explained that one of the distinguishing characteristics of U.Va.’s program is precepted clinical education. A goal of the new program is to move nursing care from a focus on tasks and instrumental activities to a more comprehensive focus on outcomes and care evaluation. CNL graduates will have the know-how to act as a “quarterback” in navigating the health care system to better coordinate and deliver patient care.
The Fuld Leadership Fellows CNL program will include special support for the clinician mentors; a series of leadership courses; a leadership retreat for students, faculty and preceptors; and an intensive clinical Capstone Practicum. A key component of the program is a series of eight courses in clinical practice and decision-making to infuse nursing theory into clinical and evidence-based practice. Nursing informatics and the use of health care data systems will be threaded throughout the program. CNL students will take a course in medical Spanish to better communicate with patients and families.
Leadership of the program rests with a team of four nursing professionals. Assistant Professor Kathryn B. Reid and Associate Professor Ann B. Hamric are providing faculty direction and curricular structure on the academic side. Leah Wacksman and Pamela D. Dennison are directing preceptor selection and preparation in the Medical Center. Both have been integrally involved in the design of the didactic curriculum, ensuring symmetry between the classroom and clinical settings. The Fuld Leadership Fellows program is celebrated as an important boost to the students who will make this CNL pilot program a success.