FAYETTEVILLE — A $360,000 grant to the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences Northwest will help the university pay for a new lab, scholarships and other needs of its nursing programs, a nursing professor said.
The grant is from the Harvey and Bernice Jones Charitable Trust. The money will help the university create a simulation lab with lifelike mannequins that nursing students can use to practice treating patients, said Lauren Haggard-Duff of the College of Nursing.
The lab will likely be on the school’s campus on North College Avenue and is needed for existing and future programs, Haggard-Duff said. The grant money could help pay for renovation costs, the mannequins and equipment, or a lab coordinator, she said.
Haggard-Duff explained UAMS plans to start two programs within the next couple of years. One is an accelerated bachelor of science in nursing and the other is a master’s degree in case management. The grant might also be used to hire faculty.
“Over the last three years, contributions from the Jones Charitable Trust, with additional support from private donors and Springdale-based Excellerate Foundation (formerly Endeavor), have enabled the UAMS College of Nursing to award $117,000 in scholarships to students practicing in Northwest Arkansas. Students typically receive $5,000 each year to support the cost of their graduate nursing degrees,” according to a news release from the medical school.
UAMS will continue to award students the existing $5,000 scholarships, and some of the recently announced grant money is to create more scholarships, Haggard-Duff said. The exact amount is yet to be determined.
UAMS Northwest has 36 graduate nursing students. UAMS, which is based in Little Rock, has 604 total students in its College of Nursing, according to David Wise, spokesman.
“The scholarships were made possible by the generosity of numerous past board members of Excellerate Foundation who share Harvey and Bernice Jones’ passion to support nursing excellence in Northwest Arkansas,” Betsy Phillips, trustee for the Jones Charitable Trust, said in the UAMS news release.
The accelerated bachelor of science in nursing program is to be a 15-month program intended for people who already have a bachelor’s degree not in nursing or some college education.
Haggard-Duff said students should not expect to be able to work while in the intensive program. The program is likely to attract students who are pursuing nursing as a second career and may already have families, which is all the more reason the additional scholarship money is important, she said.
The case management program is a two-year master’s degree program. Case managers in medical settings generally keep up with patients’ needs and make sure they have all the proper care and appointments set up before, during and after hospital stays or surgeries, for example. Students in this program must already have a bachelor’s degree in nursing.
“There is a need for more case management positions within hospitals,” Haggard-Duff said. “A lot of nurses end up becoming directors or case managers within a hospital or in a clinician-type area, and they don’t have either the experience or the background or the knowledge base of how to be a case manager. When we asked around local hospitals and clinics what they needed, case management was reported often.”
The university plans to have 12-15 students in the accelerated bachelor of science in nursing program. The case management program is to have 12 students in its first year with plans to expand to 20 students per year over the first five years.
The University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences is based in Little Rock. The UAMS Northwest Regional Campus in Fayetteville is an extension of the university’s medical education, research and clinical mission. The northwest campus was established in 2007.
Alex Golden may be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.