July 13, 2023By Lance Baily

How Nursing and Engineering Departments Work Together to Improve Nursing Simulation

What happens when nursing schools and engineering schools team up? Innovation in nursing simulation! Over at UMass Amherst’s Elaine Marieb Center for Nursing and Engineering Innovation program, such cross disciplinary partnerships are already providing unique clinical simulation technologies with global demand. This HealthySimulation.com article shares examples of the opportunities to collaborative partnerships between Nursing and Engineering for improved Nursing Simulation outcomes! Have a similar story to add? Email us!

Shared From UMASS’ “Nurses and Engineers Join Forces to Revolutionize Healthcare

Formed in January 2021 with a seed grant from alumni Theresa and Michael Hluchyj (a nurse and engineer, respectively), the center was soon expanded thanks to a major gift from the Elaine Nicpon Marieb Charitable Foundation. A partnership between UMass Amherst’s Elaine Marieb College of Nursing and College of Engineering, and co-directed by Giuliano and Frank Sup, associate professor in the Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, it is believed to be the first center at a university focused on nursing and engineering innovation.

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Through clinical and industry partnerships, the center is working to quickly develop, test, and deploy new life science technologies and solutions that can lead to meaningful improvements in health care. The center also provides hands-on training to the next generation of nurses and engineers. The proximity to other researchers working in a variety of fields allows for cross-pollination and has led to new partnerships. To test usability of products in development, the researchers also use the nursing college’s Clinical Simulation Lab, and a simulation lab at UMass Amherst Center at Springfield.

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The center has several major research initiatives—including projects on IV smart pumps and robotic technology in nursing—and also supports projects in development by other nurse-engineer teams, including providing financial support through its pilot grant program. Recent examples of such projects include the development of non-contact, pain-free monitoring devices for adults, and of handheld tablets to assist with lifestyle changes for patients with osteoarthritis.

Another major research thrust at the center is robotic technology in nursing, an initiative led by Sup and Tracey Cobb, clinical instructor in nursing. Robots are currently used in health care settings to perform repeated tasks with precision, such as assisting with surgical procedures, and Sup anticipates their use to expand in coming decades working alongside nurses—whether for delivering supplies and medications, disinfecting surfaces, or assisting patients with mobility. He said it’s important to be thoughtful and collaborative in developing technologies that will be effective and welcomed in health care settings.

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Continue reading the full story Nurses and Engineers Join Forces to Revolutionize Healthcare.

Other Examples of Cross Discipline Innovation in Nursing Simulation

ANA: The Importance of Student Nursing and Engineering Collaborations : Nurses and engineers serve vital roles in health and healthcare, creating, designing, and implementing solutions to problems big and small. Partnering nursing students with engineering students provides an immense opportunity to combine these two disciplines and allows each respective student group to learn from the other early in their academic careers and expand their way of thinking. Below, one of our University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing (Penn Nursing) students, Jessica Abene, describes her experience working with a team of engineering students on an innovation project and explains the importance of this type of interdisciplinary collaboration.

The Ohio State University: Engineering New Tools to Transform Nursing Education : In a new collaboration between The Ohio State University Colleges of Engineering and Nursing, teams are pursuing the use of extended reality (XR), artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) to revolutionize the way nurses are educated. The work is funded by a highly-competitive $1.5 million grant from the American Nurses Foundation’s Reimagining Nursing Initiative. The foundation funded just 10 projects out of 350 proposals that aim to transform health care by reimagining the nursing profession. The three-year grant will support “Disrupting Nursing Education with XR, AI and ML,” a project that seeks to use cutting-edge technology to better prepare nursing graduates for critical, real-world situations.

Pub Med Research: Interdisciplinary Collaboration Between Nursing and Engineering in Health Care: A Scoping Review : This research attempted to identify the study areas of interdisciplinary collaboration between nursing and engineering in health care, particularly focusing on the role of nurses in the collaboration. Interdisciplinary collaborations between nursing and engineering promote nursing innovation and practice. However, these collaborations are still emerging and in the early stages. In the future, nurses should be more involved in the early stages of solving healthcare problems, particularly in the requirement analysis and designing phases. Furthermore, there is an urgent need to develop interprofessional education, strengthen nursing connections with the healthcare engineering industry, and provide more platforms and resources to bring nursing and engineering disciplines together.

Florida Atlantic University: New Degree Programs Combine Nursing with AI and Biomedical Engineering : Florida Atlantic University’s Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing and the College of Engineering and Computer Science offers new combined programs in nursing and artificial intelligence and biomedical engineering. This innovative, forward-looking and convergent curriculum design was conceived by Safiya George, Ph.D., dean, Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing; Stella Batalama, Ph.D., dean, College of Engineering and Computer Science; Javad Hashemi, Ph.D., associate dean of research, College of Engineering and Computer Science; Karethy Edwards, Dr.PH, APRN, associate dean of academic programs; and Joy Longo, Ph.D., assistant dean, undergraduate programs, both within the Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing. The need for such a program was recognized through a number of research collaborations and discussions between the two colleges.

Duquesne University Offers Dual Bachelor’s in Biomedical Engineering and Nursing : The Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Engineering and Bachelor of Science in Nursing five-year, onsite program will prepare you to become a nurse engineer. This dual degree program integrates and applies nursing clinical knowledge and engineering principles to solve health care problems and improve health outcomes. This program is the first dual undergraduate degree program in Biomedical Engineering and Nursing in the U.S. The dual format is cost effective as it provides additional clinical knowledge and skills via a holistic nursing approach. During this five-year program, learners will not only gain a deep clinical perspective, but will also solve real clinical problems and learn to develop technologies such as those that: assist patients and create efficiencies for nurses in the hospital, outpatient and home care arenas, and are lifesaving and cost effective for developing countries.

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