Funding Priorities for Federal Grants Announced
Final funding priorities for advanced nurse education grants have been announced by the Health Resources Service Administration. Priority will be given to applicant institutions with a three-year average enrollment of minority students in graduate nursing education greater than the national average or with an increase in minority enrollment in the graduate program that exceeds the program's prior three-year average; and applications that develop, expand, or implement courses concerning ambulatory, home health care, or inpatient case-management of those with HIV infection-related diseases.
Advanced nurse education funds are awarded to meet the costs of programs that lead to master's and doctoral degrees and that prepare nurses to serve as nurse educators, administrators, or researchers or to serve in clinical nurse specialties determined by the Department of Health and Human Services to require advanced education.
For more information, contact Frank Sis, HRSA, Public Health Service, US Department of Health & Human Services, 5600 Fishers Lane, Room 14-43, Rockville, MD 20857; 301-443-3377.
Easing the Way to Advanced Degrees
To help combat the critical shortage of nurses in advanced practice and leadership positions, the University of Maryland School of Nursing recently announced two new programs for registered nurses that will begin with the 1989 fall term.
RN to BSN/MS combines the bachelors degree in nursing with a master of science degree, saving 13 credits in an integrated program for all specialty tracks. Additionally, the school now offers students the opportunity to enter the doctoral program after the baccalaureate degree. This new entry option is for well-qualified students with research-oriented career goals and who wish to progress as rapidly as possible toward the advanced degree. Financial assistance is available for those qualified for either program.
For information, contact Dr. Judy Baillieul, Admissions Office, University of Maryland School of Nursing, 655 West Lombard Street, Baltimore, MD 21201; 301-328-7503.
Building Management Skills
In response to reports recommending the need for better preparation of nurse executives, the National League for Nursing released a program designed to prepare nurses for executive positions. The program, titled Nursing Management Skills: A Modular Self-Assessment Series, Module I, Economics, Accounting and Finance, is now available.
The opportunities for advancement into nursing management positions have never been greater, but nurses need an understanding of economics, accounting, and finance to take advantage of them.
Nursing Management Skills was designed as an independent self-study learning program. In addition, qualifying participants are eligible for three continuing education units.
The first module teaches key skills that prepare nurses for management positions or helps refine and upgrade current skills. Fiscal management has long been considered a weak area in traditional nursing education; however, many find that a thorough understanding of accounting, finance, and the current economic environment is essential to climbing the career ladder. Module I allows nurses to remain on the job and expand their knowledge in these key areas at their own pace.
The module consists of more than 200 questions or situations in a variety of short-answer formats. Pertinent articles from selected management and nursing journals supplement the module. Nurses first determine current knowledge in the self-assessment component; the answer section contains explanations necessary to answer correctly, as well as references to the appropriate articles supplied in the module.
The participant may take the proficiency examination provided in Module I. This examination is then submitted to NLN for scoring, and if successfully completed, the participant is awarded three continuing education credits, which equals 30 contact hours.
Module I is available from NLN's Division of Test Service for $49.50. For information, contact the National League for Nursing; 800-NOW-lNLN, or 212-582-1022.
Rewarding Nationally Certified Nurses
An incentive program recognizing the professionalism of nationally certified nurses and enhancing the level of health care while addressing the critical nursing shortage has been instituted at St. Peters Medical Center, New Brunswick, NJ.
The Professional Certification Incentive Program compensates nurses who are nationally certified in one of 17 specialties with salary increases of up to $10,000. The program rewards bedside nurses for raising and maintaining their level of expertise through certification programs. It creates a financially rewarding option that was not previously existent for nurses who want to remain at the bedside rather than in teaching or administration.
Nurses may be nationally certified in such specialties as critical care, emergency care, perinatal care, operating room, medical-surgical nursing, oncology, and geriatrics. The salary increases earned by nationally certified nurses will be based on the difficulty in obtaining and maintaining certification in each specialty.
The incentive program differs from specialty pay given by some institutions to nurses who work in specific hospital areas because it relates to the nurses' professionalism and experience rather than to the hospital's need.
For information, contact Kathleen Russell-Babin; 201-745-8600, extension 8421.
Army Offers Aid to Students
The US Army Reserves Specialized Training Assistance Program (STRAP) is offering a monthly stipened of $678.00 to students training in nursing anesthesia and operating room nursing. In return, participants must serve two years in an Army Reserve unit for each year they receive financial assistance.
Nurses usually spend one weekend a month with a reserve unit and participate in two weeks of annual training at an Army post. Training may take place in an Army medical facility or in a realistic field training exercise. In this setting, nurses may learn how to deal with mass casualties, such as could be experienced during a natural disaster or during ground operations.
To participate in STRAP, students must be US citizens; be engaged in a course of training in one of several designated health-care professions; complete an agreed upon course of advanced training; and perform duties in a Selected Reserve Troop Program Unit while participating in specified training.
For more information, contact Louann Fernald; 212-614-4947.