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Thursday, September 17, 2009

MHEC Awards SU Nursing $635,601 for Clinical Educators

SALISBURY, MD---Salisbury University’s Nursing Department has been awarded $635,601 from the Maryland Higher Education Commission to establish clinical educator partnerships with Peninsula Regional Medical Center in Salisbury and Atlantic General Hospital in Berlin.  The grant creates three hospital-based clinical faculty positions.

“To my knowledge this is the first time such positions have been established on the Eastern Shore,” said Lisa Seldomridge, program director. “Their creation allows SU to increase enrollment in our nursing programs to help address the nursing shortage.”

The positions will be filled by nurses employed by each partner hospital.  Two SU alumni have already been appointed:  Rebecca Skorobatsch (’05) at Peninsula Regional and Julie Long (’93) at Atlantic General.  Both will work in the area of adult health for the duration of the three-year appointment.  A third, two-year position in women’s and children’s health will be filled at Peninsula Regional next year.

Part of the job description for the new clinical faculty is supervision of SU nursing students working in the hospitals.  They will be paired with SU faculty mentors and will participate in professional development workshops.  With tuition assistance from SU, they also may enroll in the clinical educator or health care leadership tracks of the University’s M.S. in nursing program.

Seldomridge said the partnership benefits the hospitals by allowing them to retain experienced staff and offer them opportunities to continue their education.  It also lets SU increase its pool of available clinical educators and, in turn, expand its programs, particularly for second degree students. 

“The second degree bachelor’s program is growing because it prepares nurses for the workforce in only three full-time semesters,” Seldomridge said. “These career-change students contribute a wealth of life experience and are highly valued employees.  During this economic downturn, we have seen a spike in applications and expect an even greater increase next year.”

The MHEC grant is not the first for the nursing department. Earlier this summer, SU received $80,000 from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation for scholarships for second-degree nursing students.  In 2007, MHEC gave SU $261,009 for a Nurse Support Program grant that Drs. Susan Battistoni and Karin Johnson used to develop the clinical educator track of the master’s program.

For more information call 410-543-6030 or visit the SU Web site at www.salisbury.edu.



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