The UNLV School of Nursing is expanding, and as part of its growth will soon offer advanced training opportunities and continuing education for nurses throughout Nevada with support from the Governor’s Office of Economic Development (GOED).
UNLV was awarded a $900,000 grant from GOED’s Workforce Innovations for a New Nevada program to develop a series of certificates for nurses targeting areas of need in the state, including specialty care, clinical research, and teaching.
“We are excited to be able to expand the skills and competencies of Nevada nurses as clinical research nurses, genetics counselors, and clinical preceptors,” said Angela Amar, professor and dean of the UNLV School of Nursing. “This funding allows us the opportunity to advance the health of Nevada citizens by increasing the capabilities of our nurses.”
Planned certificate programs include Certified Nursing Assistant Instructors, Clinical Nursing Preceptors, Clinical Research Administrators, Health Information Technology and Data Analytics, and an Introduction to Genetics, Genomics, and Genetic Counseling.
“Access to affordable and high-quality health care is a priority for Gov. Steve Sisolak’s administration and this program will help train more health care professionals for needed specialty areas in the state,” said Dr. Gillian Barclay, GOED health care industry specialist.
The programs were developed in partnership with the Valley Health Care System, the University Medical Center of Southern Nevada, Comprehensive Cancer Centers, and the Kenny Guinn Center for Policy Priorities. Health care employer partners, along with projected industry growth, will ensure successful placement of participants following their completion of the various programs.
“The programs founded by this grant meet two needs in Nevada: nurses with new skills and competencies to meet the needs of our citizens, and new jobs for highly-skilled nurses to meet the requirements of our health care employers. These certificate and continuing education nursing programs will help nurses provide better care to patients in Nevada,” said Carolyn E. Sabo, professor and director of strategic initiatives for UNLV’s School of Nursing.
School of Nursing Expanding to Meet Demand
The grant support from GOED is among the latest in a series of moves by UNLV Nursing in recent years to holistically address the state’s growing, and increasingly complex, health care needs.
Admission to the school’s competitive undergraduate program is expanding. Starting this fall, a total of 216 students will be accepted annually over three cohorts – an increase of 50 percent since fall 2017. The rigorous year-round undergraduate curriculum can be completed in just 16 months and speeds the transition of bachelor’s-prepared (BSN) graduates into an in-demand nursing workforce.
“At the UNLV School of Nursing, we educate nurses to provide the highest quality care for the citizens of Nevada,” said Amar. “The developing Las Vegas medical district and UNLV medical school make it important that nursing grows also. The increase in enrollment furthers our ability to meet the health care needs of our diverse population. With a critical need for highly trained nurses across our region and state, expanding our BSN class sizes will increase the number of graduates who can meet this demand.”
The UNLV School of Nursing has one of the nation’s top-ranked online master’s degree programs, it offers advanced practice degrees, and launched Nevada’s first Ph.D. program in nursing in 2004. The school is also home to the Clinical Simulation Center of Las Vegas, a 31,000 square-foot technologically advanced educational facility where students learn and practice their skills through simulated scenarios with realistic manikins, patient actors, and surgical labs.