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Duquesne, Ashland U. Nursing Programs Team Up on Prenatal Care Project

The Duquesne University School of Nursing is one of just nine higher education institutions in the United States to receive $10,000 grants to share and build upon the lessons learned through an innovative and highly successful scholarship program for second-career nurses, New Careers in Nursing (NCIN).

NCIN was created eight years ago by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) and the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) to increase the diversity of the nursing workforce by providing scholarships to people from groups underrepresented in the field to earn accelerated baccalaureate or master's degrees in nursing.

A new grant program, Innovations in Accelerated Nursing Education, funds teams of nursing schools that have received NCIN grants. Each team received $10,000 to develop and enhance an educational project to implement innovative approaches to accelerated nursing education that can be taken to scale and replicated in a variety of educational settings.

Duquesne Nursing Professors Dr. Yvonne Weideman and Dr. Joan Such Lockhart have teamed up with Dr. Lisa Young and Dr. Faye Grund (both Duquesne alumnae) from the Ashland University College of Nursing and Health Sciences for the project titled Strengthening Cultural Competence in Prenatal Care with a Virtual Community: Building Capacity through Collaboration. In the spring 2015 semester, they will offer a seven-week virtual simulation clinical experience that will be presented simultaneously in a community nursing course at Duquesne and a maternal health course at Ashland.

"The team will design a web-based, virtual module that simulates two clinical prenatal care scenarios with clients from diverse backgrounds," said Dr. Melissa Kalarchian, associate dean for research at Duquesne's nursing school. "Duquesne is located in an urban area with a significant population of African Americans, while Ashland is in a rural region with a large Amish community. The virtual experience will compare and contrast these two cultures in a prenatal setting while emphasizing safety and health promotion."

Duquesne is the only university in Pennsylvania to receive an Innovations in Accelerated Nursing Education grant. New York University, Yale and Southern Connecticut State University are among the other institutions to receive the grant.
"These grants are intended to provide information that will help schools of nursing continue to do the important work of increasing the diversity of the nursing workforce, including nurse faculty, and increasing the number of nurses holding BSN degrees or higher," said Dr. David Krol, RWJF senior program officer.

Duquesne University

Founded in 1878, Duquesne is consistently ranked among the nation's top Catholic universities for its award-winning faculty and tradition of academic excellence. Duquesne, a campus of nearly 9,500 graduate and undergraduate students, has been nationally recognized for its academic programs, community service and commitment to sustainability. Follow Duquesne University on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.