EMU/BRCC Receive Nursing Program Grant

EMU, in partnership with Blue Ridge Community College, Weyers Cave, Va., has received a grant of $125,000 from Anthem Blue Cross/Blue Shield that is designed to strengthen technology-intensive education at university and community college nursing programs.

Arlene G. Wiens, chair of EMU’s nursing department, said the funds will provide a state-of-the-art computerized human simulator and other nursing-laboratory equipment which will enable nursing students at both schools to improve their patient care. Equipment to facilitate transporting the human simulator is part of the grant.

“Anthem will set up an intensive care area at EMU focused on the human simulator,” Dr. Wiens said. “EMU and BRCC officials will determine the best use of the additional health care technology that will be donated with the simulator.”

Nursing faculty at BRCC wrote a letter of support when EMU applied for the grant. Blue Ridge also hopes to use the simulator on their campus.

“We’re very excited about this simulator and expanding our partnership with EMU,” said BRCC nursing instructor Linda Edwards. “The simulator can be programmed to demonstrate real-life scenarios, which will better prepare our students to offer quality nursing care to their patients,” she added.

At EMU, the Anthem Blue Cross/Blue Shield grant supplements the Lisa Haverstick Fund and Endowment created by Lisa’s family. Ms. Haverstick, a 1991 nursing graduate, died in May of 2003. The Lisa Haverstick Memorial Nursing Laboratory is being established in EMU’s nursing department in her memory.

“EMU nursing majors, faculty, and alumni have generously contributed to the fund along with Lisa’s friends and coworkers,” Dr. Wiens said. “Both funds will provide equipment and computer software to help students acquire basic skills and refine their decision-making and critical thinking in simulated clinical situations,” she added.

“EMU faculty and students are excited about the possibilities this grant offers for us to better prepare nursing graduates for the technological world of health care,” Wiens said. “We are grateful to Anthem and appreciate their recognition of the importance of nurses in providing safe and effective care in hospital settings.”