Penn State School of Nursing offers summer programs for nurses

When Florence Nightingale tirelessly nursed British soldiers during the Crimean War in the 1850s, she was beginning what would become the modern nursing profession. The 2010 International Year of the Nurse was created to honor the legacies of Nightingale and all nurses. It’s estimated that more than 15 million nurses are working worldwide today, including 135,486 registered nurses (RNs) in Pennsylvania. To help Pennsylvania’s nurses update their knowledge and skills, Penn State is offering summer programs in the School of Nursing’s new simulation laboratory.

“Nursing is a very demanding profession,” said Madeline F. Mattern, School of Nursing Outreach Programs coordinator. “There has been an explosion in knowledge and technologies for patient care, and keeping up to date is a huge challenge for nurses. Our programs will increase nurses’ knowledge, competence and comfort level with new technologies. The programs also will promote critical thinking and clinical judgment that can be transferred to the work setting.”

Seven one- and two-day programs are being offered in June and July on topics including diabetes, women’s health, advanced wound care, and assessing/evaluating patients, among other health care issues. They will be taught by School of Nursing faculty and other clinical experts. The School of Nursing is partnering with Penn State Outreach to deliver the programs.

School of Nursing Dean Paula Milone-Nuzzo pointed out that Pennsylvania’s RNs are required by Act 58 to complete 30 continuing education hours every two years to maintain licensure.

“Our new state-of-the-art simulation laboratory will enable new nurses and those already working in the profession to get quality hands-on education and training,” she said.

The lab, located in the Health and Human Development East Building at University Park campus, is designed to mimic a hospital setting. It features an intensive care unit, pediatric room, maternity room, main “fundamentals” lab and four-bed primary care unit, as well as high-tech human patient simulators that can replicate symptoms, diseases and conditions nurses will encounter on the job.

“Our programs can be refreshers for new and current nurses,” said Mary Anne Ventura, Penn State instructor in nursing and simulation lab coordinator. “In the lab, we can simulate situations they will see on the floor. They will practice using the lab’s equipment, so they become more comfortable with the health care procedures and technologies. They can make a mistake in a safe environment, and they will learn from their mistakes.”

For information about summer continuing education programs for nurses, visit online.

Penn State Continuing and Professional Education (CAPE) delivers professional development and continuing education programs to adult learners at locations across Pennsylvania. CAPE, a unit of Penn State Outreach, uses Penn State’s network of 24 campuses and the University’s academic colleges to design master’s, bachelor’s and associate degree programs for adult learners in a wide range of fields, including business, education, engineering/technology, health, and justice/government. For information, visit online. Penn State Continuing and Professional Education is part of Penn State Outreach, the largest unified outreach organization in American higher education. Penn State Outreach serves more than 5 million people each year, delivering more than 2,000 programs to people in all 67 Pennsylvania counties, all 50 states and 114 countries worldwide.

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Last Updated November 29, 2010