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Critical care nurse training at Case receives boost from $1.4 million in grants

Case Western Reserve University’s Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing has received two grants worth nearly $1.4 million that will help educate nurses to care for the most vulnerable and critically ill patients.

Georgia L. Narsavage, associate professor of nursing and associate dean of academic programs, and John M. Clochesy, the Independence Foundation Professor of Nursing at the Bolton School, both received sizeable grants from the Health Resources and Services Administration, Bureau of Health Professions to improve preparedness of acute care nurses and to respond to the severe nursing shortage felt within all regions of the United States.

Critical care nursing is a specialty within nursing that deals specifically with human responses to life-threatening problems. Critical care nurses work in a wide variety of settings, filling many roles. They are bedside clinicians, nurse educators, researchers, managers, clinical nurse specialists and nurse practitioners.

Narsavage’s grant of $951,866 will help to establish an RN Residency Program in Critical Care in Cleveland, she said. This program, a partnership between the Bolton School and University Hospitals Health Systems of Cleveland, not only responds to the nursing shortage but also “serves as a dynamic method” to develop a nurse residency program that will prepare at least 100 qualified critical care RN specialists within three years.

By developing this new residency program, the Bolton School and University Hospitals strive to improve the recruitment and retention of critical care nurses. The program’s research-based evaluation methods will provide a model that can be replicated, presenting the best practices for this nursing specialty.

“The growing nursing shortage is especially acute in specialty areas of nursing,” Narsavage said. “While specific figures are not available on the extent of the shortage, we do know that the number of requests for temporary and traveling critical care nurses to fill staffing gaps has skyrocketed in every part of the U.S. This program will bolster the ranks of critical care nurses across the country and advance the treatment of critically ill patients by addressing the growing demands for critical care in the 21st century.”

According to the American Association of Critical Care Nurses, requests for critical care nurses include increases of 45% for adult critical care units, 50% for pediatric ICUs/neonatal ICUs and 140% for emergency departments.

Clochesy’s award of $447,616, “Taking Critical Care from the Bedside to the Roadside,” prepares advanced practice nurses to use advanced assessment and intervention skills in areas that lack the facilities normally depended on to treat critically ill or injured patients, such as those injured in automobile accidents or some other type of mishap. The award will benefit the Bolton School’s Acute Care Nurse Practitioner (ACNP) Program and Flight Nursing Program and extends Case’s partnership with the MetroHealth Medical Center and its internationally recognized critical care air medical service, Metro Life Flight, by offering acute care nurse practitioner students in the master of science in nursing program the opportunity to learn how to provide comprehensive assessment, diagnosis and life-sustaining treatment to acutely ill and injured patients in unstructured environments, away from hospitals. Clochesy is founder and research director of the Bolton School’s acute care nurse practitioner program and National Flight Nursing Academy.

Clochesy points out that with the onset of managed care and the resulting migration of patients to alternative settings, critical care nurses are caring for patients more ill than ever before. The grant lasts two years.

“We are the first nursing school to prepare acute care nurse practitioners for unstructured environments such as air medical services,” said Clochesy. “This program will provide a vibrant, highly-mobile team of critical care professionals who can bring their advanced practice skills to a wide range of emergencies, allowing quick responses to not only road accidents but also to the natural and technologic disasters that we are facing in the modern world.”

 

About Case Western Reserve University

Case is among the nation's leading research institutions. Founded in 1826 and shaped by the unique merger of the Case Institute of Technology and Western Reserve University, Case is distinguished by its strengths in education, research, service, and experiential learning. Located in Cleveland, Case offers nationally recognized programs in the Arts and Sciences, Dental Medicine, Engineering, Law, Management, Medicine, Nursing, and Social Work. http://www.case.edu.