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September 25, 2008
 
       
 

Tackling the
Nursing Shortage


Reminder: Submissions for the Bisnow Green Leadership Awards are due Sept 25. Thanks to partners USGBC-NCR, George Washington University, and the Tower Companies, with additional guidance from the University of Maryland Clark School of Engineering and SB NOW. The Lerner and Abramson familes host the awards dinner October 28. We aim to make it the easiest competition you've ever entered: Firms should provide no more than one informal page of bullet points about how you're promoting green.  More info here.

 

Observant readers may have noticed we’d never written about Howard University. This was to our detriment because while we were busy writing about nursing shortages, Howard’s Associate Dean of Nursing Mary Hill was busy addressing the problem. She’s landed significant grants to keep financially-strapped students in their seats and to build high-tech simulation labs to make the seats more interesting. We met up with Mary on campus.

 

Even though WHUR 96.3 is right across the street, Mary says you’ll rarely find Howard nursing students earning extra bucks as DJ’s. More likely they work long hours at grueling jobs to cover tuition payments, and the resulting burnout is a huge barrier to retention. That’s changing thanks to a Helene Fuld Foundation scholarship providing $300k in direct aid and another $450k in an endowment. We argued that a job at McDonald’s can be a priceless education in health risks, but Mary was unconvinced.

 

High-tech mannequins can be effective teaching tools, unless you don’t know how to use them. Then you just have two dummies instead of one. Mary faced that exact problem when she took over last fall. (To be clear, “dummies” is our word, not Mary’s. She has tact.) Even if she had the budget for high-tech teaching tools—which she didn’t—her faculty wasn’t trained to use them. But this year, Mary snagged a $1.4 million federal grant from HRSA to partner with Drexel, one of the nation’s leading nursing programs. Drexel faculty will come to DC to offer training in teaching methods such as simulations with mannequins, standardized patient simulations using actors, and how to conduct distance learning courses.

 

Mary is so confident students will love the new curriculum that she’s already working on ways to keep them at Howard forever. Well, not quite forever, but she is launching a distance-learning Master’s in Nursing Education program in fall ’09 and studying the need for a Doctor of Nursing Practice program. Once things settle down, Mary, a Tuskegee alum, who’s also worked at Alcorn State, UMiss, and Columbia, says she’s looking forward to resuming her passion for international travel. Next up: London.

Curtis Raye announced today that due to the financial crisis, he is suspending his writing. But please do not suspend your story ideas. You can still send them to Curtis@Bisnow.com

 
 
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