UTEP Receives Grant To Improve Trauma Care

Aug 13, 2012

The University of Texas at El Paso’s School of Nursing has been awarded $787,202 to increase the number of trauma care nurses in hospital emergency rooms.

The funding from the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board will establish the Emergency and Trauma Care Education Partnership Program (ETEP) at the School of Nursing, which will prepare registered nurses and nurse practitioners in emergency and trauma care through August 2013.

With support from Tenet Healthcare Corp., 49 pediatric and adult/geriatric acute care nurse practitioner students will train in its Sierra Providence Health Network (SPHN) facilities to obtain the skills and experience they need to deliver advanced, direct patient care in emergency and trauma settings.

“The UTEP School of Nursing is proud of our community partnership with Tenet Healthcare,” said School of Nursing Dean Elias Provencio-Vasquez, Ph.D. “We look forward to working with them to build a cadre of quality acute care nurse practitioners to meet the growing need in El Paso.”

Funds will be used to hire pediatric and adult/geriatric acute care nurse practitioner faculty, and to provide students with stipends to pay for tuition and books. The grant also will pay to train 24 nurse practitioners from Tenet to take the Trauma Nurse Core Certification or to become nationally certified emergency room nurses.

“The Sierra Providence Health Network is committed to the quality, efficiency and accessibility of care for our community,” said Patricia A. Duran, D.N.P., chief nursing officer at Sierra Providence East Medical Center. “As a network, we are thrilled to support the increase of professional collaboration and support the revision of models of health care delivery that employ uniform shared scopes of practice among providers.” 

As part of their training, students will travel to Memorial Hermann – Texas Medical Center, a certified level-one trauma center in Houston, and Texas Children’s Hospital to gain additional training within the emergency and trauma departments.

Trauma nurses are trained to handle urgent medical situations where a disease or injury has not been diagnosed and to stabilize patients to receive further treatment.

“As the city of El Paso continues to grow, local hospitals must work to find new and innovative ways to care for their very diverse populations,” said Monique Lambert, director of the School of Nursing’s adult/geriatric nurse practitioner-acute care concentration. “Utilizing acute care nurse practitioners with emergency and trauma training is one way UTEP graduates can help serve the needs of the community of El Paso.”

Lambert said that the funding provided by this grant will allow for necessary emergency and trauma curriculum as well as clinical experiences to be incorporated into both the pediatric and adult/geriatric acute care nurse practitioner programs. This grant offers underserved areas expert clinicians to meet the diverse needs of the community.

“Nurse practitioners have very specific scopes of practice,” Lambert said. “It will be the acute care nurse practitioner that can best meet the needs of the acutely ill and injured adult or pediatric patient in our emergency and trauma departments within El Paso.”

Future plans include offering a post-master’s certificate in trauma care.