SPOKANE — WSU nursing students will gain more clinical experience in rural settings and help meet critical health care needs thanks to a $31,000 grant awarded by the Yakima Valley Community Foundation (YVCF). The grant will be used to support a pilot project to fund a clinical instructor who will supervise WSU undergraduate nursing students at Sunnyside Community Hospital (SCH) in Yakima Valley.
 
“The Community Foundation is pleased to partner with WSU in this effort,” said John Colgan, foundation president. “Providing support for health care delivery throughout Yakima County is a priority.”
 

Butterfield

“As a result of this partnership WSU College of Nursing students will have the opportunity to experience clinical rotations in their rural community,” said Patricia Butterfield, dean for the College of Nursing. “This is an innovative partnership aimed at meeting the shortages in health care so often compounded in our rural communities.”

 
The YVCF funded instructor will supervise five to seven students per semester. Thus increasing the number of educated and qualified student nurses who have access to clinical rotations in a rural hospital, and fulfilling a need to build capacity in a major rural healthcare institution. 
 
“This is where students are exposed to the real world,” said Debra Franck, director of the Yakima Nursing Program for the College of Nursing. “This is where they connect what they learn in the classroom and practice labs to real patients in the hospital setting.”
 
The clinical rotations generally include caring for patients under the supervision of their clinical instructor and are supported by the staff nurses assigned to the patients. This project will not only enable nursing students to complete degree requirements in a rural setting, but will also encourage them to consider practicing in this setting once they have completed their degree.
 
“Student nurses are a major recruitment pool for hospitals,” said Franck. “The people served by SCH deserve an adequate supply of qualified and culturally competent nurses.”
 

About the Yakima Valley Community Foundation
The Yakima Valley Community Foundation was established in 2004 and has assets close to $23 million. In just four years, the Foundation made grants of more than $1,300,000 to nonprofit organizations. Yakima Valley Community Foundation is made up of more than 30 separate charitable funds, which have been established by donors either for the general benefit of the community or for special purposes. YMVF also serves as a civic leader, convener and sponsor of special initiatives designed to build community. For more information about Yakima Valley Community Foundation, visit www.yvcf.com, or call 509-457-7616.
 

About the College of Nursing at Washington State University
Each year the WSU College of Nursing graduates more entry-level nurses than any other institution in the state of Washington.  The college is a national leader in distance education and serves students based in Spokane, Tri-Cities, Vancouver, Walla Walla and Yakima. The College of Nursing offers the BSN, RN to BSN, MN and PhD degrees through their Yakima campus. For more information about the WSU College of Nursing, visit www.nursing.wsu.edu.