The University of West Georgia and Tanner Health Systems announced its new exclusive partnership on Nov. 4. This partnership is designed to provide secure employment opportunities for current and future students throughout the region to combat the predicted nursing shortages in the future.

“The partnership will increase access for UWG to Tanner’s clinical nurse experts to provide classroom and clinical instruction, and increases access for Tanner to UWG nursing faculty with academic, practice and research expertise,” said Dr. Kathryn Grams, PhD, RN, Dean and Professor.

The university’s nursing program will be named Tanner Health System School of Nursing, and will receive funding from Tanner to increase enrollment by offering new scholarship opportunities and better technological training.

“A scholarship endowment will be created for nursing students in the West Georgia region,” said Dr. Grams.

UWG and Tanner have been working together since the establishment of the nursing program at UWG, and Tanner has been the top provider of clinical experiences for students and currently hosts about one hundred students each semester.

“The partnership provides funding for UWG nursing program development, faculty and staff equipment, as well as opportunities for shared resources; enhanced quality and quantity of clinical learning experiences and practice environments, more student scholarships and educational opportunities in the region,” said Dr. Grams

High-fidelity simulation environments are already part of the new nursing building and allow current nursing students to practice client care in realistic situations, and along with this, the partnership will continue to support existing technology.

“The rooms are outfitted to resemble hospital patient rooms and include hospital beds, medical air, oxygen, suction, medication cares, IV pumps, medical equipment, bedside laptop computers and human patient simulators,” said Dr. Grams. “The simulators are life-sized and life-like. Students can take vital signs, start and IV, administer medications, perform chest compressions and speak with the simulator to name a few valuable clinical activities.”

This expansion due to the partnership is expected to benefit the university, to better the healthcare system and also be good for the community.

“It will establish an Academic-Practice Partnership between UWG and Tanner Health Systems. Partnerships of this type are being created throughout the U.S. to advance nursing practice, improve the quality of care and enhance patient outcomes,” said Dr. Grams. “Through this partnership, we will be able to provide well-educated, highly-skilled professional nurses at the baccalaureate, master’s and doctoral degree levels for the Tanner Health System, and build upon our already strong relationship to develop initiatives to recruit, retain and develop a diverse community of relented nursing students and professionals.”

The vision to expand the nursing program is to empower the graduates of the university, as well as to empower the citizens of the West Georgia area by providing them with the absolute best in healthcare.

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