Funding for Rural Nursing Students
Helping Those Who Want to Help Others
Historically speaking, one of the good things that rises from the ashes of troubling times is a renewed labor force in careers that help people, especially among younger adults. Firefighters. EMTs. Therapists. Nurses. All of these fields generally have a surge after challenging times. At the core, people want to help people.
If that includes you or someone you know – no matter the age! – there’s some good news with new monies available “to grow the pipeline of nurses in our mountain communities and give them the tools needed to succeed.”
CMC Creates Rural Nursing Success Fund
By Carrie Click, Colorado Mountain College
The global pandemic has put into sharp focus the ever-present need for healthcare workers, especially in rural communities. Simultaneously, nursing students are experiencing difficulty gaining access to the clinical experiences they need to graduate, because of that very same virus. So, how can new nurses be trained to fill critical needs?
Colorado Mountain College has recently received a grant from the Johnson & Johnson Foundation through the Johnson & Johnson Center for Health Worker Innovation. The funds will help nurses on Colorado’s Western Slope get the training they need to step into the workplace.
Specifically, the Rural Nursing Success Fund at the college allows CMC to add virtual simulation modules for its nursing students and instructors, and additionally creates a nursing income share agreement fund to provide students with an innovative way to fund their education.
ISA Payback Based on Work
An income share agreement, also known as an ISA, is a contract between a financial institution or college and a student. In return for funds covering the student’s cost of attendance, students agree to share a small portion of their future earnings for a certain period of time after graduation.
Nurses trained by Colorado Mountain College will be able to participate in an ISA that has no interest and caps the total repayment at the amount borrowed. Further, to incentivize students to stay and work in our mountain communities, grant funding forgives 25% of the student’s total debt for those who do. This ISA is available to students enrolled in one of CMC’s three nursing programs (Glenwood Springs, Breckenridge, and Steamboat Springs), whether they have access to federal financial aid or not.
Virtual Simulators in Rural Communities
“We are honored to collaborate with the Johnson & Johnson Foundation to grow the pipeline of nurses in our mountain communities and give them the tools needed to succeed,” said Kristin Heath Colon, CEO of the CMC Foundation. “We believe CMC is uniquely well positioned to recruit and educate diverse candidates in a high-need service area, while additionally providing an example of innovative financing that could be replicated in other environments.”
“Access to the virtual simulation products and technology support given by the Johnson & Johnson Foundation is helping to eliminate the barriers our rural students can experience in obtaining clinical hours due to the extensive distances they must travel between our mountain towns,” said Susan Moreland, dean of the School of Nursing, Health Sciences and Public Safety at CMC. “This has never been more necessary than now, with the restrictions COVID-19 has placed on our communities.
“This funding is playing a key role in our ability to give students exposure to all of the learning modules they need to graduate and quickly get jobs,” she said.
Colorado Mountain College offers associate and bachelor’s degrees in nursing at its campuses in Spring Valley-Glenwood Springs, Breckenridge and, most recently, Steamboat Springs.
In addition, the college recently received a $2.125 million Strengthening Institutions Program (SIP) grant from the U.S. Department of Education to strengthen CMC’s nursing labs, police officer training programs and skilled trades programs. CMC will use the SIP grant funds primarily on equipment and supplies needed to increase capacity for instruction.
The SIP funds have also enabled the college to launch a fundraising initiative to build three nursing simulation labs at the three campuses where it teaches nursing. That fundraising initiative is off to a great start thanks to the grant from the Johnson & Johnson Foundation.
To support CMC’s nursing program or to learn more about eligibility for the nursing ISA, please contact CMC Foundation CEO Kristin Heath Colon at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Students Now Use Simulators
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, in April Colorado Gov. Jared Polis issued Executive Order D 2020 038, which removed regulatory barriers for nurse and nurse aide students in educational programs throughout Colorado. This came about as a way to help students graduate while bolstering the ability of nurses and certified nurse aides to enter or remain in the workforce.
One of the key elements of this executive order was to allow the clinical simulation to be applied toward required clinical hours, above the normal allowance of 50%. Clinical judgment (decision making) of professional nurses requires the ability to anticipate patient health status and to prevent patient complications and/or negative outcomes. Effective case studies help students rehearse clinical patient situations or circumstances in a safe learning environment.
The National League of Nursing allows for some of this simulation to be done virtually, using virtual simulation modules in which students and instructors work “side-by-side” on computerized case studies, simulating scenarios where students must work to quickly and appropriately solve for the unpredictability of patient health conditions.
With the Johnson & Johnson Foundation funds, CMC has been able to purchase 90 different virtual simulation modules. These modules provide students interactive case studies in nine different specialty areas, such as maternity, gerontology, pediatrics and mental health.
Meet Leadville CMC Staff
Colorado Mountain College is a public, locally financed institution with 11 campuses serving the mountain resort towns of central Colorado. Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, CMC offers over 125 certificates, associate degrees, and bachelor’s degrees ranging from avalanche science and ski area operations to nursing and sustainability studies. Learn more at www.coloradomtn.edu. In this video, meet the staff at the Colorado Mountain College campus in Leadville Today!
USFS Receives Objections to Plan
For those keeping track of this one, The Rocky Mountain Region of the US Forest Service has received eight objections regarding the proposed plan amendment under the Pike and San Isabel National Forests Motorized Travel Management (MVUM) Analysis.
To address concerns about the effects of unmanaged off-highway vehicles (OHVs), the United States Department of Agriculture Forest Service (Forest Service) published the 2005 Travel Management Rule (TMR). It provides regulations for motor vehicle use on national forests and grasslands. The TMR provides for the following:
A system of [NFS] roads, [NFS] trails, and areas on [NFS] lands that are designated for motor vehicle use. After these roads, trails, and areas are designated, motor vehicle use, including the class of vehicle and time of year, not in accordance with these designations is prohibited. (36 Code of Federal Regulations [CFR] 212.50(a)) All the national forests and grasslands in the United States are expected to provide for a designated system of roads, trails, and areas for motor vehicle use.
The NFS system of roads, trails, and areas for the Ranger Districts managed by the PSI in the Cimarron and Comanche National Grasslands were previously designated. The issuance of motor vehicle use maps (MVUMs) following this ROD will demonstrate which NFS roads and trails are appropriate for public motor vehicle use. The PSI started issuing MVUMs in 2009, reflecting updated routes open to public motor vehicles. The PSI was subsequently challenged in court by various citizen groups, contending that the Forest Service did not meet its agency obligations under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and other federal legislation to analyze the impacts of designating routes on the MVUMs.
Parties to the lawsuit eventually reached a settlement agreement in 2015, which they believe is in the public interest and a fair and equitable resolution of the dispute . In response to this settlement agreement, the PSI conducted the NEPA analysis in the Pike and San Isabel National Forests Motorized Travel Management (MVUM) Analysis. As required by the 2015 settlement, in 2016 the PSI issued interim closure orders for roads and trails in Forest Plan 3A Management Areas and roads and trails in the critical habitat for Mexican spotted owl and Preble’s meadow jumping mouse.
The area encompassed by the decision in this ROD totals roughly 2,206,400 acres and encompasses all NFS lands within the boundaries of the PSI in the six mountain Ranger Districts—Leadville, Pikes Peak, San Carlos, Salida, South Park, and South Platte—along with a 50-foot buffer of all PSI NFS routes. This includes routes over which the PSI has jurisdiction or management responsibilities, where some of the routes are not on NFS lands or are on adjacent national forests. The PSI is spread over 15 counties in Colorado: Chaffee, Clear Creek, Costilla, Custer, Douglas, El Paso, Fremont, Huerfano, Jefferson, Lake, Las Animas, Park, Pueblo, Saguache, and Teller.