News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Local & Bistate

December 5, 2013

Lilly Endowment awards $1M to SMWC for nursing degree program

TERRE HAUTE — Lilly Endowment Inc. has awarded Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College a $1 million grant through its Initiative to Promote Opportunities through Educational Collaborations. The Woods will use grant funds to build upon the success of its academic programs and develop a Baccalaureate of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree program that will help meet critical needs for nurses, healthcare professionals and leaders in the healthcare industry in the state. Grant funds will support startup costs for curriculum development, faculty, science labs, and the development of a RN to BSN completion program, according to an SMWC news release.

“Lilly Endowment’s generous funding will allow The Woods to provide nursing leadership, which is critical to effective high-quality patient care across the state and nationwide,” said Dottie King, president of Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College. “The Endowment’s continued investment in colleges and universities speaks to the importance of education and of our mutual goal of preparing students to lead in our communities.”

SMWC is collaborating with regional health care and health education partners to create a distinctive new model for nursing programs at small colleges. Partners critical to the success of the program include Ivy Tech Community College, Providence Health Care, Rural Health Innovation Collaborative, St. Vincent Hospital of Clay County, Terre Haute Regional Hospital and Union Hospital Health Group.

Specifically, SMWC’s program model will:

• Capitalize on existing facilities offered through community partners to implement the program with distinction;

• Utilize the nearby simulation center at the Rural Health Innovation Collaborative;

• Use on-site model classrooms within the healthcare facility of the Sisters of Providence, adjacent to the College campus;

• Immerse students in career-related experiences throughout the curriculum to connect them to the healthcare workplace and maintain high Indiana job placement levels for BSN graduates; and

• Develop articulation agreements with Ivy Tech Community College and other community colleges to offer the BSN program to graduates of two-year nursing programs. The two-year completion program will utilize on-site and online delivery, in which SMWC has extensive experience.

Additionally, the grant will allow The Woods to continue to build upon its reputation of offering other distinctive health-related programs. Its art therapy, music therapy and equine assisted therapy programs, used within a therapeutic relationship, provide avenues for communication to those who find it difficult to express themselves in words.

The accreditation process by the Indiana State Board of Nursing and the Higher Learning Commission is under way.

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