James Madison University

Nursing Faculty Receives 4-VA Mini Grant

By: Sydney Palese
Posted: February 26, 2014

Faculty members in the Department of Nursing recently received a 4-Virginia mini grant for $5,000 to fund their efforts to redesign an elective course in nursing history.  The project was developed by Maria deValpine, Deborah Gleason, Nena Powell and Julie Sanford of JMU and Arlene Keeling and Mary Gibson of UVA under the title “A collaborative course redesign combining online delivery methods with historic nursing research at two Virginia Universities.”

In the proposal for the project, deValpine stated that the JMU Department of Nursing “has developed expertise in online course delivery for the health professions” while the University of Virginia School of Nursing “has an extensive archive and program of research in nursing history.”  In order to make both programs stronger, they proposed a collaboration that utilizes both of their strengths and expertise. They plan on implementing this proposal by developing a shared online course for both of the universities’ students over the course of nine months, with the end goal of accessing UVA’s Nursing History Forum and digital collections in JMU’s online course.

The 4-Virginia consortium was developed by the presidents of George Mason University, James Madison University, the University of Virginia and Virginia Tech in 2010.  According to the 4-VA website, its mission is “to promote inter-university collaborations that leverage the strengths of each partner university in order to accomplish much more than any individual university could achieve alone.”

Emphasis of 4-VA is placed on TelePresence and other technologies to increase access, reduce time to graduation and reduce costs while maintaining and enhancing quality and access.  To receive the grant, the JMU and UVa faculty had to write a proposal, which summarized the project, offered a plan for implementation of the project and defined a proposed budget.

deValpine said while the grant writing process was easy, “it was all the coordination between parties that was more difficult.” She added, “Once we got an idea between us we wrote and rewrote to meet 4-Va parameters, fit them together with UVA's materials and JMU's course, then we rewrote some more to best meet student and faculty interest in the area of nursing history.”

According to the proposal, “The resulting course and collaboration will enhance 4-VA’s progress toward Virginia’s ‘Top Jobs’ initiative for STEM and healthcare professionals, improve quality and increase access to professional education in this area of strategic workforce development, and foster professional role development and life-long learning among healthcare professions students.”