College of Nursing Receives $50,000 Grant from Aetna Foundation To Support Distance and On-Demand Learning Initiatives

July 28, 2008

DETROIT, July 2008 - The Wayne State University College of Nursing has been awarded a $50,000 national grant from the Aetna Foundation to help expand the College's capacity to offer advanced practice nursing degrees through its established and successful distance and on-demand learning programs.

Specifically, the grant will go toward the purchase of a new portable, multimedia presentation cart that will allow the College to increase not only the number of classes that can be offered via distance or on-demand instruction, but also the number of students who can participate in the coursework and the number of remote sites at which they can do so.

In collaboration with area health partners, the WSU College of Nursing currently offers three distance learning curricula for the preparation of qualified, culturally sensitive advance practice nurses (APNs): a neonatal nurse practitioner program, the only one of its kind in the state; primary pediatric care, and acute pediatric care. This fall, the College plans to add on-demand and distance learning courses to educate APNs in psychiatric/mental health/community health nursing. This will be the only distance learning program in this specialty available in Michigan.

The development of increased numbers of APNs is viewed as one solution to the problem of health disparities and lack of access to health care in Detroit and other Michigan communities.

The Aetna Foundation is the independent charitable and philanthropic arm of Aetna Inc., a national leader of health and related benefits offering health, pharmacy, dental and life products. "Aetna has a very strong and longstanding commitment to nursing and the very significant role professional nurses play in our health care system and in our company," says Deborah Lantzy-Talpos, RN, head of Michigan markets for Aetna. "We are very concerned about the worsening shortage of nurses, and pleased to support these efforts to help address the problem."

Says WSU College of Nursing Dean Barbara K. Redman, "The Aetna Foundation's diligent attention to issues impacting the future of nursing education and the quality of nursing care in America resonates with our students and faculty. We are very grateful for this opportunity to enhance the good work Aetna is doing by offering advanced practice nursing students a more personal and flexible learning experience. The $50,000 grant for a new media cart will go far in helping us serve the needs of nursing students from Marquette to Detroit."

The multimedia cart should be operational by the beginning of the academic semester this fall.