SRTC awarded Georgia Board of Healthcare Workforce Nursing School Grant

May 14—THOMASVILLE- Southern Regional Technical College recently received a $205,000 grant from the Georgia Board of Healthcare Workforce.

The GBHCW Nursing School Grant is designed to increase the number of nurse graduates who enter the workforce of Georgia's nurses, SRTC said in a press release. This grant will serve as a pivotal resource in advancing the college's commitment to excellence in nursing education and training.

"GBHCW is excited to name Southern Regional Technical College a winner in our Nursing School grant program," said Chet Bhasin, executive director of the Georgia Board of Healthcare Workforce. "We are thankful Governor Kemp appropriated these funds to assist in increasing the quantity of practice-ready nurses around the state."

A portion of the funding from the GBHCW grant will be used to support a virtual hospital coordinator position for one year. This role will play a critical part in enhancing SRTC's nursing program by coordinating virtual hospital simulations, facilitating student learning experiences, and ensuring alignment with industry standards and best practices.

The grant funds will also be allocated toward the purchase of updated simulation technology and equipment. The investment in new technology will provide SRTC nursing students with immersive and realistic training scenarios, equipping them with the skills and knowledge needed to excel in their future careers in healthcare.

"We are deeply appreciative to receive the GBHCW Nursing School grant, recognizing its profound impact on our nursing program. This funding not only enhances our resources but also strengthens our resolve to address the pressing nursing shortage. As a college committed to excellence in nursing education and patient care, this grant reinforces our pivotal role in preparing skilled and compassionate healthcare professionals to meet the critical needs of our communities," said Athalena Benton, Associate of Science in Nursing Program Chair at SRTC.

SRTC's simulation lab is a training ground for nursing students that allows teachers to simulate various situations with virtual reality headsets and mannequins that perform and respond to different scenarios. These hands-on experiences prepare students for their careers by teaching them to think on their feet, react to emergency situations, and communicate with patients and family members.

Additional equipment for the simulation lab will include two new interactive mannequins, LLEAP software, touch screen monitors, pitting edema sticky pads, instructor devices, and a new learning module that includes additional simulated clinical experiences for the mannequins. With the LLEAP software, instructors have control over the patient simulator's physiology, giving a seamless and immersive training experience for the learners. The pitting edema pads offer students the opportunity to practice identifying grade 1+ and 2+ pitting edema on any mannequin or standardized patient.

"We recognize this funding as an investment in our institution and a commitment to the health and well-being of our communities," said Jim Glass, President of Southern Regional Technical College. "It will support our ongoing work of providing our students with life-changing experience and education, and our graduates with successful careers in healthcare."

A total of $3 million in grants was awarded by the Georgia Board of Health Care Workers. In addition to Southern Regional Technical College, Albany Technical College, Central Georgia Technical College, Georgia Southwestern State University, Lanier Technical College, Savannah Technical College, and South Georgia Technical College were also awarded grants.

The GBHCW Nursing School Grant represents a significant milestone in SRTC's ongoing efforts to elevate healthcare education and workforce development in the region, the college said. By leveraging this funding to expand resources and enhance training, SRTC remains dedicated to producing highly skilled healthcare professionals. SRTC is ranked No. 1 for registered nursing graduates out of all 22 technical colleges in Georgia, the press release said.