YAKIMA, Wash. – The Washington State University (WSU) College of Nursing in Yakima will relocate this summer to the campus of Pacific Northwest University of Health Sciences (PNWU), becoming part of a growing center of interprofessional health care education in the Yakima Valley.
The move will encourage greater educational partnership between WSU nursing students and osteopathic medical students from PNWU. Greater collaboration will also occur with the WSU College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, which has operated a program there since 2015.
“We know that educating health care students in interprofessional teams results in better care for patients,” said Daryll DeWald, PhD, vice president and chancellor for WSU Health Sciences. “Having the WSU College of Nursing join WSU pharmacy students and PNWU medical students on the same campus will help them cooperate and communicate from the very beginning of their training, with community health being the ultimate beneficiary.”
Over the summer, the college will move to Watson Hall on the PNWU campus. The simulation laboratory, where nursing students practice clinical skills on high-tech mannequins in a low-risk environment, is located in the adjacent Butler-Haney Hall. Students will begin instruction in the new location in August 2020.
“The cross-institutional education of students entering health care fields continues to flourish with collaborations such as this one with Washington State University,” explained Ed Bilsky, PhD, PWNU’s provost and chief academic officer. “The close proximity of the programs and investment in state-of-the-art training facilities allows us to build in more educational programming and clinically-relevant, hands-on training activities.”
Yakima was the first location where the College of Nursing established a program outside of Spokane in 1976. The college has been located since 1996 on the campus of Yakima Valley College, an institution that remains WSU’s valued partner in nursing education.
“It’s exciting to see the fruits of many joint efforts and growing connections for future health care professionals,” said Lisa Vickers, Yakima campus director at the WSU College of Nursing. She added, “We greatly appreciate our collaboration with YVC and are looking forward to this partnership continuing even as we forge new ties with PNWU.”
The Yakima Valley region has been a leader in interprofessional health care education, as evidenced by formation of the Yakima Valley Interprofessional Practice and Education Collaborative in 2015. The collaborative brings together hundreds of students from WSU, PNWU, Heritage University and Central Washington University to take part in team-based classes, simulation training and clinical experiences in the community.
Said DeWald, “WSU Health Sciences and the College of Nursing expect that our new location will help us make even more progress toward team-based learning, an educational approach that drives cost-effective, patient-centered health care.”