Friday, September 10, 2010

Loyola University Chicago Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing Awarded Grant to Prepare Leaders in Infection Prevention

Grant supports first clinical doctorate program to educate nurse infection preventionists

MAYWOOD, Ill. -- Loyola University Chicago Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing recently received a three-year $812,355 Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) Advanced Education Nursing grant for the development of a new Population-focused Infection Prevention and Environmental Safety (PIPES) track within the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program. This is the first program in the nation that will prepare nurses at the clinical doctorate level for leadership roles in infection prevention and patient and environmental safety.

“The increasingly complex nature of health care requires that nurses recognize and manage emerging issues beyond the individual patient or hospital to be population and prevention focused,” said MNSON Dean Vicki Keough, PhD, RN-BC, ACNP. “This grant will allow us to prepare advanced practice nurses to enhance the quality and effectiveness of health care through the prevention of health-care associated infections, environmental hazards and threats to patient safety.”

Diana Hackbarth, PhD, RN, FAAN, is the project director and Ida Androwich, PhD, RN, FAAN, is the co-project director for the PIPES program. This track within the DNP program will build on the school’s completely online master’s degree in infection prevention. Students will come from diverse backgrounds and geographic locations and will have access to coursework online and through on-campus immersion seminars. The program also will enhance opportunities for interdisciplinary learning through a partnership with Loyola’s Public Health Master’s students and faculty.

“The PIPES track educates nurses to lead in the design, implementation and evaluation of evidence-based infection prevention and patient safety practices in a complex, rapidly changing health-care environment,” Dr. Hackbarth said. “Graduates of the program will be well positioned for roles that require collaboration among disciplines, critical analysis of systems and outcomes, and the creation of key improvements in health-care delivery.”

Loyola introduced the DNP degree for advanced practice nursing students in 2009. While PhD nursing programs focus on research, DNP programs prepare students for the highest level of nursing practice. This includes proficiencies in areas that support clinical practice, such as administration, organizational management and policy. DNP graduates also are skilled in assessing evidence, translating research and implementing practical clinical innovations to change care.

“Loyola continues to be a national leader in advanced practice nursing education,” Dean Keough said. “The PIPES track will further set our graduates apart in the health-care setting.”

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About Loyola University Health System

Loyola University Health System (LUHS) is part of Trinity Health. Based in the western suburbs of Chicago, LUHS is a quaternary care system with a 61-acre main medical center campus, the 36-acre Gottlieb Memorial Hospital campus and more than 30 primary and specialty care facilities in Cook, Will and DuPage counties. Loyola University Medical Center’s campus is conveniently located in Maywood, 13 miles west of Chicago’s Loop and 8 miles east of Oak Brook, Ill. At the heart of the medical center campus is a 559-licensed-bed hospital that houses a Level 1 Trauma Center, a Burn Center and the Ronald McDonald® Children's Hospital of Loyola University Medical Center. Also on campus are the Cardinal Bernardin Cancer Center, Loyola Outpatient Center, Center for Heart & Vascular Medicine and Loyola Oral Health Center as well as Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine, Loyola University Chicago Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing and the Loyola Center for Fitness. Loyola's Gottlieb campus in Melrose Park includes the 255-licensed-bed community hospital, the Professional Office Building housing 150 private practice clinics, the Adult Day Care, the Gottlieb Center for Fitness, Loyola Center for Metabolic Surgery and Bariatric Care and the Loyola Cancer Care & Research at the Marjorie G. Weinberg Cancer Center at Melrose Park.

Trinity Health is a national Catholic health system with an enduring legacy and a steadfast mission to be a transforming and healing presence within the communities we serve. Trinity is committed to being a people-centered health care system that enables better health, better care and lower costs. Trinity Health has 88 hospitals and hundreds of continuing care facilities, home care agencies and outpatient centers in 21 states and 119,000 employees.