SONHS Receives Florida Blue Foundation Grant Award

March 31, 2014 — Nurses comprise the largest segment of the health care workforce and have a significant role in patient outcomes. In order to better prepare nursing graduates, the Florida Blue Foundation awarded the University of Miami School of Nursing and Health Studies (SONHS) funding to develop and test a simulation-enhanced pharmacology education program. Dr. Mary McKay, SONHS Assistant Professor of Clinical, Safety Assurance Director and the Wallace Gilroy Endowed Chair in Nursing, will serve as Principal Investigator of this 2-year study, entitled “Bridging the gap: Making medication administration safer through simulation enhanced pharmacology education.” The overarching goal of the research project is to address the issue of medication error-associated adverse events among nursing students.

“From an educational standpoint, success of the program will have long-lasting impacts on the way pharmacology is taught at our school and other schools of nursing,” said McKay. “From a research perspective, the project will contribute to the body of knowledge in regards to simulation as a teaching methodology. Finally, from a patient safety vantage point, its success will improve safety around medication handling.”

The award was funded through Florida Blue Foundation ‘s competitive grant process, which is aligned with the goals of the Florida Healthcare Simulation Alliance to accelerate and optimize use of patient simulation labs in nurse education and training. One of Florida Blue Foundation’s areas of focus is to improve the quality and safety of patient care. Many of the Foundation’s efforts in this area are aimed at developing a well-prepared nurse workforce to meet the growing and complete health care needs of the people of Florida.

“We are proud that with the support of the Florida Blue Foundation, we are contributing to the building of competencies that enhance patient safety and quality patient care,” said Dean Nilda Peragallo Montano. “This project has the potential to impact the delivery of nursing education as well as the science of health care simulation. Its success will create a model of effective pharmacology education for other schools of nursing to follow.”


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