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School of Nursing Receives Grant to Enhance Mastery of Clinical Skills

Posted: Feb. 19, 2015

The University of Texas at Austin School of Nursing has been awarded a $50,000 Curriculum Innovation Grant from The University of Texas at Austin to develop an innovative program to help undergraduate nursing students master clinical skills and gain confidence in their ability to provide patient care.

The grant provides the funding to launch “Integrated Simulated Nursing Skills Mastery Using Video Peer-to-peer Team Review,” a video-based project that will increase the amount of time undergraduates can practice clinical skills, such as catheter insertion. Students will be able to videotape themselves performing various skills, which they can review with an eye for improvement prior to submitting a final version for grading.

Dr. Leigh Goldstein

“This new program will help reduce the stress that many students experience during skills testing,” said Leigh Goldstein, PhD, RN, and assistant professor of clinical nursing. “Students will work in teams and critique each other’s performance. Only when they feel their performance is perfect will a final videotape be made and uploaded.”

The School of Nursing features a simulated hospital setting — a sophisticated learning environment where students develop competencies in multiple simulated health care settings that cross the human life span. Home to a variety of manikin “patients,” the lab offers clinical experiences that are difficult to guarantee in outside clinical settings and will be the site for the skills practice and videotaping.

“Because access to clinical sites has been reduced in recent years, student nurses often aren’t exposed to a variety of clinical experiences, which makes it harder for them to perfect those skills,” Dr. Goldstein said. “We wanted to change the way we do some of our clinical work to allow students not only to perfect, but to master, these skills.”

Curriculum Innovation Grants are one way UT Austin develops promising innovations in undergraduate and graduate education and enable investigation of their potential for larger implementation. This year, $500,000 was awarded through the Center for Teaching and Learning in Curriculum Innovation Grants of up to $50,000 per grant.

“Virtually all innovations in society are made by those doing the daily work,” William Powers, Jr., president of UT Austin said. “Put another way, they can be supported from the top, but they are developed from the bottom up. In our case, that means the faculty.”

The School of Nursing’s “Integrated Simulated Nursing Skills Mastery Using Video Peer-to-Peer Team Review” was one of 11 proposals selected out of 44 submissions.

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