MOAB, Utah — A generous grant from Colorado Grand allowed nursing students at Utah State University Moab to complete their capstone projects on the road. Thanks to the $10,000 grant, the students were able to travel and work in hospitals outside of Moab, giving them an opportunity to branch out and learn in different clinical environments.
Colorado Grand, founded in 1989, is an annual charity tour for cars that were built before 1960. These vintage vehicles are brought all throughout Colorado and neighboring states for car shows, which earn money that is put toward small charities, medical facilities and college scholarships.
As part of their tour, the show passed through Moab. Representatives stopped by the USU Moab campus and met with Associate Vice President Lianna Etchberger, telling her to have the campus apply for a grant from the group. The grant provided $10,000 for student use and another $5,000 that was used to add Native American art in the lobby of the USU Moab campus.
“Colorado Grand’s generous donation opened up new and exciting opportunities for our students and enriched many of our nursing students’ educational experiences,” said Samantha Campbell, director of students and associate campus director. “The opportunity to travel to new hospitals gave our students a new breadth of knowledge that they would not have had otherwise and will greatly benefit them as they go into their careers.”
With the grant, students in USU Moab’s nursing program were offered the ability to travel as part of their capstone projects. The students were able to reach out to hospitals in the surrounding region and have the funds to travel to these facilities. This allowed the students to gain experience at different hospitals in addition to their work at Moab Regional Hospital.
The grant helped nursing student Quincy Masur travel between Moab and Grand Junction, Colorado. This gave Masur the opportunity to work at a small regional hospital in Moab as well St. Mary’s, a larger hospital in Colorado. She would work two days a week in Grand Junction, getting a feel for work at a large hospital that sees a high volume of patients.
“I wanted the opportunity to see higher-acuity patients and see the resources that St. Mary’s had,” Masur said. “I also enjoyed doing hours at Moab Regional, because I love the rural atmosphere and I got a ton of hands-on experience.”
Students got experience in more specialized fields, as well. Michael Calvert used the grant to travel to Murray, Utah, where he worked at Intermountain Medical Center in the Shock Trauma ICU. While Calvert had experience in first aid and EMS, as well as work at Moab Regional, this allowed him to see a different, specialized facility. He worked there full-time for several weeks as part of his capstone project.
“I chose the Shock/Trauma ICU because it was so different than my previous experience in Moab,” Calvert said. “I had been working in the emergency department, but I wanted to explore another type of nursing in another facility.”
Students who participated at different facilities all said the experience was extremely valuable. It allowed students the opportunity to try new things and see what area of specialization was right for them.
“The capstone experience was hugely important to my nursing career,” Masur said. “It showed me two wildly different possibilities for working and let me practice a lot of hands-on skills.”
The experience also helped the students become more rounded, as well as introduced them to areas they may not have been able to encounter otherwise.
“I firmly believe the time I spent at this capstone made me much more well-equipped to step into a role as a nurse,” Calvert said.
USU Moab’s nursing program has state-of-the-art facilities, including a dedicated classroom and simulation lab that allows students to practice and record themselves. The program works closely with Moab Regional Hospital and allows students to not only study nursing but gain hands-on experience with actual patients.
“When I decided to pursue nursing, I didn’t know Moab had a program available,” Calvert said. “Once I found out about the program here, it was an easy decision to apply. The people at the Moab campus have been amazing advocates for our success. Connie Wilson cares so deeply about our success and creates so many opportunities that cater to our specific interests.”
For more information on USU Moab’s nursing program, click here.
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