The Grambling State University School of Nursing is striving to grow the best in healthcare providers through cutting-edge education. The revamped program offers year-round learning, simulation labs, state-of-the-art equipment, and more.
All of it is to help ensure that nursing students pass their licensing exam and move onto successful careers and that the nursing program thrives, said Dr. Meg Brown, associate dean of GSU’s School of Nursing.
“When we set up the curriculum, it was important to do a 12-month curriculum,” she said. “I worked in a program before where students were out during the summer. When they returned in the fall, it was like they had never been in nursing school. You would spend 7 to 8 weeks reviewing.”
The 12-month curriculum, which includes coursework in the summer, results in continuity of learning.
“It keeps the students engaged. It keeps them using that content and they’re not losing what they’ve gained during the year,” Dr. Brown explained.
It also proved beneficial during the COVID-19 pandemic when hospitals weren’t taking nursing students for clinical events (onsite interaction with real patients).
“We had to finish up virtually, using the simulation lab and skills lab,” she said. “Our students were then able to go straight back to clinicals in June 2020 (when most nursing students were out for the summer).
Dr. Brown said simulation labs provide an excellent complement to students’ clinical experience because it gives them opportunities to practice their skills through various realistic scenarios.
“Grambling State University has made sure that everything a student needs to be successful is here,” she said. “The school includes a simulation lab, skills lab with new patient mannequins, a birthing simulator and computer labs.”
Dr. Brown also related that technology called Mondopads have large touch-screen video monitors and web cameras that can interface with computers and cell phones and allow remote viewing.
“It’s like having a flat- screen computer on the walls,” she said. “If I have a presenter from New York City, we can get them in and they can talk to the class,” she said.
The School of Nursing has been an important part of Grambling for over 30 years and has prepared more than 2,000 students to enter the healthcare field. However, the program has struggled with maintaining exam pass rates since 2010. To obtain a license to become a registered nurse, students must pass the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX).
Seven students graduated in the first cohort and they will need to take the nursing exam by the end of July 2021.
Grambling students have not only gained practical experience but have also learned critical thinking skills and both are needed to be successful, Dr. Brown said.
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