Nursing Students from Wor-Wic Community College Visit the UM School of Nursing and Experience Simulation Labs
More than 60 students and faculty from Wor-Wic Community College in Salisbury came to the University of Maryland School of Nursing (UMSON) in Baltimore on Oct. 7 to keep a promise that was made by the UM president nearly six months earlier.
When a delegation from the University conducted a Town Hall meeting on April 20 at Wor-Wic Community College, President Jay A. Perman, MD, met privately with nursing students who said they wanted critical care experience. Perman invited the students to visit the UMSON.
The clinical simulation labs provided the Wor-Wic students with hands-on learning opportunities using high-fidelity mannequins in realistic practice settings such as basic hospital units, critical care, surgical/operating suites, and diagnostic labs, to name a few. A critical care scenario, one of many that can be programmed in the mannequins, offered the experience of caring for a patient with a heart emergency in a controlled environment.
One of the goals set forth in the Institute of Medicine's 2010 report, "The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health," is that 80 percent of the nation's nurses will hold a baccalaureate degree by 2020. In response to the need for more nurses with baccalaureate degrees, the Maryland Board of Nursing and the Maryland Higher Education Commission collaborated with universities and community colleges to reach a universal articulation agreement to lessen the barriers for associate degree graduates to transition to baccalaureate programs.
"The Wor-Wic students also rotated through the Clinical Education and Evaluation Labs [CEEL], where standardized patients are used to enhance clinical and communication skills. CEEL is a joint venture between the UMSON and the [UM] School of Medicine and is an excellent example of interprofessional collaboration," says Lori Harris, associate director of records and registration at UMSON.
The students also toured the UMSON's Living History Museum, one of the nation's only museums dedicated to the rich heritage of the nursing profession.
Staff in UMSON's new Student Success Center, funded by a $1 million grant through the Who Will Care? Fund for Nurse Education, demonstrated how the center assists UMSON students with the successful completion of coursework through guided study sessions, peer tutoring, and online modules. UMSON and Wor-Wic students had an opportunity to meet and discuss nursing education during lunch.
"Our students had attended a Maryland Nurses Association meeting at UMSON last January and were impressed with the nursing school and the conference," said Denise Marshall, EdD, from the Wor-Wic Community College Department of Nursing, who co-organized the trip. "It is always important for nursing students to see how other schools conduct their nursing programs and how nursing students around the state progress through those programs. It is also an opportunity for students to consider furthering their education from an associate degree to a bachelor's degree and beyond. If the opportunity avails itself, we want our students to experience as much as they can while a student at Wor-Wic."
The Maryland Hospital Association and the Maryland Healthcare Education Institute project that Maryland will face a shortage of 10,000 registered nurses by 2016. To that end, Maryland universities and community colleges are working together to ensure a consistent supply of well-educated nursing professionals.
The University of Maryland School of Nursing, founded in 1889, is one of the oldest and largest nursing schools, and is ranked 11th nationally. Enrolling more than 1,700 students in its baccalaureate, master's, and doctoral programs, the School develops leaders who shape the profession of nursing and impact the health care environment.