BRYAN - A grant from the Texas Comptroller worth almost $270,000 will help Blinn College expand its renowned simulation experience for tomorrow’s nursing professionals.
Blinn was awarded $269,320 from the state’s Job Building Fund, which was designed by the Texas Legislature to fund training in high-demand occupations. The College is required to match 5 percent of the project.
The Texas Legislature approved the $25 million Jobs and Education for Texans (JET) program to aid state economic growth in 2009, of which $10 million was allocated to the Job Building Fund to finance equipment purchases for new or high-demand career and technical education programs. Through a competitive process, Blinn was selected to receive funds for the purchase of additional equipment to support the Associate Degree Nursing (ADN) Program.
The grant will be executed beginning in July, and will allow to add equipment to its simulation labs, including:
• Additional intravenous catheterization equipment (virtual IV systems).
• Additional computer on wheels systems that allow students to bring medical records to the bedside during simulation.
• An automated delivery system that allows students the simulator to automatically demonstrate a variety of birthing scenarios.
• Additional recording equipment that will allow the College to record simulations in all laboratories. After the simulation is complete, these recordings are reviewed with the student to identify areas for improvement.
• Cardionics SimScopes, computerized stethoscopes that simulate abnormal heartbeat, breathing and abdominal sounds.
• DocuCare, an electronic medical record system that allows students to create a simulated health record, including charts and care plans.
• A defibrillation simulator that allows students to practice defibrillation techniques.
“This grant takes our simulation lab to the next level and allows us to make our simulations accessible to more students at once,” said Simulations Director Sami Rahman. “Especially with the increased recording ability, that’s going to allow more of the simulated activities students really need to prepare for their future careers.”
Blinn was previously awarded JET grants for $350,000 in 2010 and $287,632 in 2012. That funding allowed Blinn to continue upgrading its simulation mannequins and populate more patient beds in its simulated hospital.
Clinical simulation facilities are an important part of Blinn’s capacity to graduate highly skilled nurses who are prepared to quickly obtain their license and begin working in today’s high-demand health services environment.
“This environment allows our students to learn and grow, and if they make mistakes, to correct those mistakes so when they are on the clinical site with faculty and preceptors, they have hands-on knowledge and a better understanding,” Rahman said.
In November, Blinn was awarded more than $18,000 by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board to address the statewide nursing shortage. Those funds have been used for faculty enhancement, student recruitment and the identification, development and implementation of curriculum innovations.
Blinn has received commendation from the Texas Board of Nursing five of the last six years. Students who complete the program and pass the National Council Licensure Examination have a job placement rate between 97 to 100 percent and are qualified for a wide array of nursing positions, including pediatric, geriatric, hospice, school and clinical nursing. New graduates can expect to earn over $52,000 per year.
Blinn enrolled 18,413 students this Fall and has experienced 31.1 percent growth since 2006. Founded in 1883, the College’s tuition and fees average about one-third the cost of the same classes at most four-year public universities in the state. In addition to its campuses in Brenham, Bryan, Schulenburg and Sealy, the College teaches online courses, dual credit for high school and prepares students for quick employment through its career and technical certification programs.
Registration is currently available for Blinn’s Summer II and Fall semesters. For enrollment information and to learn about financial aid opportunities, visit: www.blinn.edu.