A&M-Commerce Receives Nursing Innovation Grant

The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB) awarded Texas A&M University-Commerce a grant under the Nursing Innovation Grant Program Building Lab and Simulation Capacity opportunity, and Department of Nursing faculty, Cheryl McKenna and Barbara Tucker, are the primary investigators for the grant.

The goal of the program is to increase the use of simulation learning experiences during the initial RN licensure program to reduce the number of required contact hours in patient care clinical situations.

“I created an extended in-patient, acute-care, pediatric simulation experience for our nursing students last year because of a decreased availability of pediatric clinical sites in our region of Northeast Texas,” Assistant Professor Cheryl McKenna said. “I recognized that our nursing program needed to continue to develop additional pediatric learning experiences as our student population grows.”

The simulation created by McKenna included one infant and one child manikin. Faculty monitored students as they cared for one patient at a time, changed shifts, and cared for the other patient over the course of two 3-hour shifts.

“When I became aware of the grant, I realized it could provide the perfect opportunity to meet the needs of our growing program,” McKenna said. “I am excited that the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board recognized our increasing use of simulation as a positive learning method for our students.”

The NIGP awarded A&M-Commerce $150,000 in funding that will allow the department to expand the program by purchasing four additional manikins and furnishing the simulated hospital for pediatric nursing care, which will allow six students at a time to gain experience with pediatric care. The growth of the department represents a substantial opportunity for A&M-Commerce to serve northeast Texas.

All proposals, including the NIGP proposal, are submitted and administrated by The Office of Research and Sponsored Programs.