Thursday, October 22, 2009

Federal Grant for Nursing Students in Rural Areas

For years, nursing students traveled from remote areas of Virginia to the U. of Virginia in Charlottesville to receive advanced training. But now, the School of Nursing at the U. of Virginia has received a $1.2 million federal grant which will be used to bolster the training of nurses in rural areas where they live through the development of distance education online courses, The Cavalier Daily announced today. A three-year program will prepare local and commuter graduate students to specialize in rural health care.

The grant, from a division of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, “will improve our electronic distance capacity and make it possible for nurses in rural areas to study the same curriculum as local students without the commute,” Catherine Kane, distance learning coordinator, said in the paper.

The school will expand distance education to include more interactive video conferences and audio options for distance students. The grant will also enable the school to recruit more students. Another aim is to extend the distance education program to those nursing students studying Psychiatric Mental Health. According to Kane, rural areas lack clinicians trained at treating mental illnesses.

“We hope this program will alleviate the impact of the current national nursing shortage in rural areas of Virginia by making advanced education available in these less populated locations,” Doris Glick, program director, said.

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