01 October 2009
The Edyth T. James Department of Nursing at Washington Adventist University (WAU) was recently awarded 4.3 million dollars in grant funding. The U.S. Department of Education awarded the University a three million dollar “Master’s Degrees at Predominantly Black Institutions (MPBI)” grant. This federal grant is intended to encourage low income and/or African Americans to pursue graduate degrees in fields such as nursing and engineering. Washington Adventist University was one of only five institutions that were awarded this grant.
Washington Adventist Hospital has also underwritten a 1.3 million dollar grant awarded through the Maryland Hospital Association and titled “Who Will Care.” This initiative seeks to address Maryland’s nursing shortage by equipping nursing schools to increase enrollment and graduation rates. Sixteen other Maryland educational institutions received grant funding through this initiative.
Washington Adventist University currently offers a Master of Science in Nursing with Business Leadership (M.S.N.-B.L.), which was implemented in the spring of 2007 and graduated its first class in December 2009. The MPBI grant will allow the University to enhance the existing M.S.N.-B.L. program and create two new academic concentrations: an educator track to the M.S.N.-B.L., called the Master of Science in Nursing, Nurse Educator (M.S.N., Nurse Educator; to be implemented in fall 2010) and an Associate Degree in Nursing to Master of Science in Nursing (A.D.N. to M.S.N.; to be implemented in fall 2011).
In addition to facilitating a seamless progression from the existing R.N. to B.S. programs, these new concentrations will provide curriculum theory and application courses; instructional and evaluation strategies that utilize faculty-guided, student-led,
case-based learning and utilization of technology such as human-patient simulations; a nurse education practicum; research opportunities for graduate students; and preparation for graduate learners to take and pass the National League for Nursing (NLN) Nurse Educator Exam.
The University’s traditional baccalaureate nursing program has been in existence since 1904. Over the past 10 years nursing classes have averaged about 25 graduates. WAU will use funding from the “Who Will Care” grant to increase enrollment, retain students, and increase the number of graduates. The campaign’s comprehensive goals are to increase the pool of diverse and qualified nursing graduates, and to develop and disseminate a technology-based nursing education curriculum model that can accommodate students from the underrepresented sectors of society. The “Who Will Care” grant will also enable the nursing department to purchase additional educational equipment such as patient simulators and computer software to help meet the aforementioned goals.