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TLU Nursing Department Receives $90,000 Innovation Grant

The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB) has awarded a $90,000 Nursing Innovation Grant to Texas Lutheran University (TLU) for the “Supporting Clinical Learning Experiences to Mitigate Impediments due to COVID-19” project led by Interim Director of Nursing Amie Bedgood and Assistant Director of Nursing Patricia Fichter-Patrick.

Providing leadership and coordination for Texas higher education to promote access, affordability, quality, success, and cost efficiency, the THECB advocates for a globally competitive workforce that positions Texas as an international leader. According to THECB’s partner, 60x30TX, by 2030, 60 percent or more of all new jobs will require some level of higher education. As nursing continues to be a profession that’s in high demand, this grant directly supports TLU students’ access to critical clinical simulation training amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The challenges of COVID-19 have been far-reaching within both nursing as a profession and nursing education,” Dr. Bedgood said. “This transition in the spring of 2020 shed light on areas where we lacked vital simulation equipment as well as space to accommodate student-nurses while observing COVID-19 protocols within the simulation labs.”

Bedgood says the funding will be used to offset the loss of pediatric clinical sites currently available to TLU students for clinical placements in pediatric rotations. The THECB resources will also support nursing faculty as they increase pediatric simulation to meet the students’ educational needs. Additionally, TLU’s newly implemented Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing (ABSN) track will also benefit from this grant by receiving equipment to outfit its pediatric simulation facilities located in the newly renovated medical tower at Resolute Medical Center in New Braunfels. The ABSN track serves students who already have a bachelor’s degree and are returning to college to earn a BSN in an accelerated amount of time, or typically 16 months.

“Given the challenges of the pandemic, the nursing faculty have had to think outside the box to provide students the hands-on experience they require,” TLU VP for Academic Affairs Dr. Sarah Ferguson said. “This grant will assist them in their continuing to offer students a first-rate nursing education.”

This work was supported in whole or in part by a grant from the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB). The opinions and conclusions expressed in this document are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the opinions or policy of the THECB.