The global pandemic caused the existing shortage of healthcare professionals to seem even more pronounced. However, years prior, Fayetteville State University was at work helping to fill the need for trained nurses with new equipment that helped grow the size of the program as well as provide an option for clinical hours.
In August 2018, the Golden LEAF Foundation Board of Directors awarded $134,200 to Fayetteville State University to enhance training within the School of Nursing through additional software and simulated training equipment. The equipment purchased with Golden LEAF funding, along with matching funds from the North Carolina Blue Cross and Blue Shield Foundation, helped the nursing program be approved for 200 students.
The equipment was up and running right before the pandemic ended opportunities for students to get the clinical hours they needed to graduate at healthcare facilities. Thankfully, the Board of Nursing allowed creative solutions such as using simulation equipment to complete needed clinical hours.
“The timing was perfect,” said Dr. Afua Arhin, Interim Dean of the College of Health, Science, and Technology at Fayetteville State University. “Since we had to greatly reduce the number of clinical hours in healthcare settings, we had to get creative. We have never used simulation more than we have used it in the last year.”
The new equipment has not only helped Fayetteville State’s programs during the pandemic but has increased its capacity to help graduate more nurses. In May 2021, Fayetteville State University’s nursing program had 35 nursing graduates. All 35 graduates have jobs in the field. The program expects to graduate 52 in December 2021, their largest class to date.
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