Posted on Thursday, January 26, 2023
The Lawrence County Board of Commissioners has approved $250,000 in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding to expand and enhance Westminster College’s nursing program.
The federal funding—provided by the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021—will be used for the creation of a nursing simulation lab and also support the College’s newly launched RN to BSN Completion Program and the development of a new pre-physical therapy program.
“These three programmatic additions will better enable Westminster College to train the next generation of nurses, which in turn will provide Lawrence County’s regional health systems greater access to skilled local medical talent and enhance health outcomes for Lawrence County residents,” said the commissioners in a prepared statement.
“We are grateful for the grant support from the Lawrence County Board of Commissioners and look forward to the contribution the enhanced simulation lab and expanded nursing education programs will make to strengthening health care in our county and region,” said Westminster College President Dr. Kathy Brittain Richardson.
The high-fidelity nursing simulation/3D anatomy and physiology visualization lab will provide Westminster nursing students with vital learning experiences needed to develop life-saving and wellness-enhancing skills, according to Dr. Tricia Ryan, chair of the Department of Nursing.
“In nursing education, a simulation lab is a highly valued learning environment,” said Ryan. “A simulation lab includes computerized mannequins and healthcare equipment where students practice patient care in a safe setting.”
Ryan said simulation-based learning has been shown to reduce errors, improve critical thinking abilities and enhance clinical decision-making skills.
The funding is part of $1,124,305 in ARPA allocations announced by the Lawrence County Board of Commissioners on Jan. 25. Westminster College’s nursing program is one of seven projects funded.