SPOKANE, Wash. -- The Medically Indigent Rural Area Psychiatric
Nurse Practitioner Program at the Intercollegiate College of Nursing/Washington
State University College of Nursing has received a $25,000
grant to be used with $25,000 in external matching funds for Personal
Digital Assistance devices.
Dr. Michael Rice, College of Nursing associate professor and
MIRA program administrator, and Saleh Elgiadi, College of Nursing
information systems manager, are the project directors.
MIRA students in clinical settings will receive one of 33 Palm
computers and extensive training for the device. The grant is
sponsored by Suffolk County Community College and Symbol Technologies,
manufacturer of the PDA. The PDA is a handheld computer that enables
mobile users to manage their schedules, contacts and other critical
information, as well as allowing users to back up and exchange
data with their desktop PCs.
MIRA has become a model of technology-based collaboration that
allows graduate nursing students in rural areas to attend class
remotely, obtain supervised hours required for licensure, and
receive a masters level psychiatric nurse practitioner degree
without relocating. Using the PDA in the clinical setting, students
will be able to evaluate drug-to-drug interactions and check medical
databases instantly, ensuring patients receive the latest treatments,
the most appropriate lab tests and the most effective medicines.
Use of the PDA brings to the rural area up-to-date medical
resources typically only available at an urban medical center,
said Rice. Students will link to a Web page dedicated to the MIRA
program and download medical and drug-to-drug updates weekly.
Use of the PDA allows students to immediately review medical issues
relevant to the patients unique history and make a diagnosis
using up-to-date research and information.
The MIRA program recently received the prestigious EDUCAUSE Award
for Excellence in Information Technology Solutions and was also
recognized for its intriguing distance learning methods
by the International Society of Psychiatric Nursing. Funded by
a $748,000 Health Resource Services Administration grant awarded
in 2000, MIRA leverages technology solutions to provide graduate
education where people live without displacing them or their families.
To maintain program support, MIRA continues to seek funding from
a variety of resources. The program has mostly recently received
grants from Bank of America, Lilly, Forrest and Organon to improve
Established in 1968, the Intercollegiate College of Nursing/WSU
College of Nursing is the nations first, oldest and most
comprehensive nursing education consortium. The College of Nursing
offers baccalaureate, graduate and professional development course
work to nursing students enrolled through its four consortium
partners: Eastern Washington University, Gonzaga University, WSU
and Whitworth College. Each year, the college educates more than
600 graduate and upper-division undergraduate students and prepares
more entry-level nurses than any other educational institution
in the state.