Kent State Geauga Receives Lead Gift for Nursing Program

The nursing program at Kent State University’s Geauga campus needs community support to continue producing top-trained nurses for understaffed medical facilities throughout northeast Ohio.

A lead gift of $50,000 from Elisabeth Severance Prentiss Foundation was recently granted to help the program purchase advanced equipment that helps facilitate premier training. However, $72,000 in individual and corporate/institutional donations are now being sought to help fully fund the simulation equipment for Geauga County’s only institution of higher learning.

While nearly half (44%) of northeast Ohio’s nurses are graduates of the Kent State University College of Nursing, the shortage of registered nurses remains a growing problem in our region. The shortage is expected to reach 2,850 by 2020 — more than three times the shortage of 820 in 2017, according to The Center for Health Affairs.

In response, Kent State Geauga has become an expanding nursing workforce pipeline for many Cleveland-based healthcare organizations. Kent State Geauga has 60 students currently enrolled in its Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program and expects enrollment of 90 BSN students by Fall 2019. While Kent State Geauga is working to supply the community with top-trained nurses, it needs a financial boost to provide the best educational equipment in its simulated hospital room/nursing laboratory. Existing equipment is outdated and malfunctions frequently, hindering students’ educational progress.

“We need to stay competitive in order to fill the need with high-quality nurses,” says Melissa Owen, BSN Coordinator at Kent State Geauga. “At this point, due to our lack of technology resources, we are being asked to do more with less. Our purchase of the SIM Man will allow our nursing students hands-on interactions with a variety of realistic simulated patients. By practicing mock scenarios with the SIM Man, they can carry out critical decision-making skills in a risk-free teaching environment. The evaluations we educators can provide as a result will help them to improve their learning experience.”

The nursing program is committed to purchasing a state-of-the-art SIM Man 3G model for simulated clinical training, installed and ready to use by Fall 2019. The model can display neurological and physiological symptoms and is designed to deliver the most realistic training possible (including automatic drug recognition, light sensitive pupils and bodily fluid excretion). These features provide the opportunity for students to practice many basic and advanced clinical skills without posing any risk to patients.

However, this SIM Man is not yet fully funded, and the simulation model represents only one aspect of a major effort to upgrade nursing instruction facilities and equipment at Kent State Geauga. Since the nursing lab is currently located in a temporary space not originally designed for clinical learning, a renovation project will be tailored to the growing needs of the nursing program, with a potential opening date of Fall 2020. The availability of new and advanced technology and equipment, such as the SIM Man 3G and durable medical equipment (hospital beds, bedside tables, etc.), will complement this institutional effort.

At Kent State Geauga, students can pursue an Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) or a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN), which prepares them to enter professional nursing practice as registered nurses. Each Fall, the Kent State Geauga BSN program admits 32 sophomore-level students.

Kent State Geauga’s nursing program was established in the early 1990s as an extension of the Kent State University College of Nursing. It is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education and was re-designated as a Center of Excellence in the Science of Nursing Education for 2017-2022 by the National League for Nursing.

The nursing program is proud of its graduates’ 100% NLCEX Pass Rate. This means that each Kent State Geauga BSN graduate in 2018 passed the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) on their first attempt, achieving a 100 percent pass rate (compared to the national average pass rate is 89.7 percent).

In August 2018, Kent State Geauga graduated 17 nursing students. More than half of them were already employed as state-tested nursing assistants (STNAs) by the Cleveland Clinic and University Hospitals healthcare systems prior to obtaining their nursing degrees.

The campus has active partnerships for clinical and practicum placements with Cleveland Clinic, University Hospitals, the Veterans Healthcare System of Cleveland, and local community and public healthcare organizations throughout Geauga County. For example, a workforce training association has been established with University Hospitals Geauga Medical Center in order to prepare more nurses for the workforce and decrease the regional nursing shortage through the Summer Nurse Extern program.

“Our growing program has experienced great success over the past year and a half,” Owen says. “We are committed to our students and this will help us continue to train nurses who can make critical decisions in clinical settings.”

It is clear that Kent State Geauga’s nursing program is serving the community by providing well-trained nurses to regional healthcare systems. Community members can now help this program to be the leading edge in training, equipping and educating the most qualified nurses throughout northeast Ohio and beyond.

How to Help

Individuals, companies, and institutions from the community can support Kent State Geauga's nursing program by assisting in the remaining $72,000 purchase and installation costs for the SIM Man. To donate, simply contact the Kent State Geauga's Associate Director of Advancement Molly Smith at 440-834-3761.

Outside donations will be dedicated solely to SIM Man costs. Any surplus contributions beyond purchase and installation demands will be put into a fund for the upkeep and maintenance of the SIM Man technology.

“Our number one priority is giving our students the best possible educational experience. This piece of equipment is pivotal in the teaching of our students.  The SIM Man will give the Kent State Geauga campus a competitive edge, as we will be the first to have this kind of equipment in Geauga County. It is worth noting too that we offer a Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing, and that we are the only institution of higher education in Geauga County.” says Molly Smith, Associate Director of Advancement.

A total renovation of the Kent State Geauga Nursing Lab is planned in the near future. Stay tuned for more information

POSTED: Wednesday, February 13, 2019 08:42 AM
Updated: Friday, December 9, 2022 06:38 AM
Estelle R. Brown