WCU, Duke, Fayetteville State collaborate on $1.4M nursing education project

Western Carolina University’s nursing education program is collaborating with Duke and Fayetteville State universities on a $1.4 million grant-funded project to develop strategies that can be adopted nationally to better prepare students for the challenges of providing health care with 21st-century technology.

Funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services through its Health Resources and Services Administration, the five-year project will bring together nursing educators from across the country to examine futuristic technologies that could be applied in the classroom, through distance education instruction and in clinical settings.

Up to 420 faculty members will be recruited from colleges and universities across the nation to take part in the project, titled Technology Integration Program for Nursing Education and Practice – or TIP-NEP for short. Participants will get hands-on experience in a “faculty sandbox” of leading-edge technology housed at Duke’s campus. They also will be involved in Web-based on-location discussions of curriculum revision and examinations of social, legal, cultural and ethical issues related to technological advances.

“Over the course of the project, we hope to provide hundreds of professors with the skills and teaching tools necessary to incorporate into their own classrooms what they’ve learned about the increasing role of technology in nursing education,” said Barbara St. John, assistant professor of nursing and project leader for WCU. “We also want these educators to be able to share their knowledge with other faculty on their home campuses, as well.”

Western was selected to be a partner in the project because of the university’s reputation for excellence in distance education, said Barbara Turner, professor of nursing at Duke and the project leader.

For more information about the project, contact Barbara St. John at stjohn@email.wcu.edu.