Baptist Memorial Hospital-North Mississippi recently received a $325,000 grant from the Baptist Memorial Health Care Foundation for a clinical laboratory/ classroom that allows nursing students to learn and develop clinical skills in a controlled setting.
The lab/classroom will be equipped with patient simulation equipment and will allow educators to create realistic patient care situations that help nursing and other health care students learn and develop clinical skills in a classroom setting. It is also a resource for existing nursing staff to practice skills and for skill assessment.
The lab/classroom further enhances the nursing education program at the University of Mississippi, according to hospital officials. The U.S. Department of Labor has identified registered nursing as the top occupation in terms of job growth through the year 2012. A report published in the November/December 2003 issue of Health Affairs read, “Because the number of young RNs has decreased so dramatically over the past two decades, enrollments in nursing programs would have to increase at least 40 percent annually to replace those expected to leave the workforce through retirement.”
“We are confident this program will attract young people to the nursing profession, where there are many opportunities,” said Katie Morrissette, chief nursing officer of Baptist North Mississippi. “This new lab will give Mississippi students the kind of facility that’s not available to many other students.”
In 2004, Baptist Memorial Health Care and North Mississippi Medical Center agreed to provide joint funding for a nursing program at the University of Mississippi campus in Oxford. The programs are designed to recruit more students to the nursing profession and to make it possible to earn a Bachelor of Science degree in nursing at the Oxford campus. The second phase of the program provides an accelerated Master of Science in nursing program for students who do not have a baccalaureate degree in nursing. During the past several years, the two health care systems have partnered to provide funding for nursing faculty positions at Mississippi University for Women, Itawamba Community College and Northeast Mississippi Community College.
For more information about Baptist North Mississippi, please call (662) 232-8100 or visit northmiss.baptistonline.org.