Nursing Awarded 2 Innovation Grants to Improve Student Learning

Nursing Awarded 2 Innovation Grants to Improve Student Learning

Two research projects using healthcare simulation have received $10,000 Program Innovation Awards from UCF for the What’s Next, Quality Enhancement Plan. The grants are awarded to projects that seek to improve student learning outcomes by making changes either to existing programs or by creating new programs.

Acute care

A team led by Clinical Associate Professor Kelly Allred recently completed their project, which developed and evaluated a readiness practice simulation exercise of an adult patient emergently deteriorating to improve communication and teamwork skills in a high-stress event.

“It’s rare that students may experience a real code during their assigned clinical experiences,” said Frank Guido-Sanz, an assistant professor who also works in a surgical intensive care unit. “Simulation allows us the ability to deliver a close to real experience for students in a safe environment, and also allows for their actions to be discussed during a debriefing to improve patient outcomes,” added Allred

Approximately 120 BSN students and 20 graduate students in the Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner program participated in the exercise, including graduate student Neil Frey. “What surprised me most was how quickly I had to recall information and react as a provider who was receiving a call about a patient – quickly switching from doing a mundane task at home to handling a very complex situation,” said Frey. “Simulated experiences such as this not only gives us the chance to learn and grow, but also gives us the flexibility to learn from our mistakes as well. The simulation has undoubtedly better prepared me for my future role.”

Opioid crisis

Assistant Professor Michael Valenti was recently awarded a grant for his project addressing the opioid epidemic, which seeks to improve nursing care of patients with opioid addiction by increasing students’ awareness of addiction, identifying myths and misconceptions, acknowledging biases, and enhancing knowledge of available resources.

Valenti, who is a mental health nurse, will work together with Allred and Simulation Director Laura Gonzalez to develop an evidenced-based interactive simulation experience where students will be in the role of a RN caring for a patient with addiction. Following the training, students will have a structured debriefing session.