U.S. Senator Jerry Moran announced the awarding of a federal nursing grant to Pittsburg State University’s Irene Ransom Bradley School of Nursing. Moran made the announcement during a press conference Nov. 19 in McPherson Hall.
The grant will help fund the Advanced Nurse Education Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner Program at the School of Nursing. This is the third grant the nursing school has received in 2018, totaling in $3.65 million.
“… One of the ways that we can make women and others more safe is to make certain that the necessary science, medical examination is there so that these individuals can be found by law enforcement, perpetrators can be found by law enforcement, they can be prosecuted by the prosecutors, and we can make women safer as a result of this grant,” Moran said.
Along with Moran, PSU President Steve Scott, Cheryl Giefer, director of the School of Nursing, and Wendy Overstreet, Crawford County’s Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) and future coordinator for the PSU’s SANE program, each gave speeches during the conference.
“… None of this, whatever our healthcare system is, whatever policy decisions congress or the Kansas legislature make, none of it will work unless we have an educated work force, unless we have the necessary nurses and advanced practitioners,” Moran said. “There is nothing we can do to care for people by passing a law. We only care for people whenever we have a person in the room with that patient who cares for them, who has the necessary training and education to meet their needs and to make their lives better.”
Scott mentioned several partners of this program, including the Community Health Center of SEK, Via Christi Hospital, Freeman Health Systems, Mercy Hospital, Crawford County Health Department, Mental Health Center of Crawford County, City of Pittsburg Police Department, Crawford County Sheriff’s Office, Crawford County Attorney, Children’s Advocacy Center, Safehouse Crisis Center, PSU’s College of Arts and Sciences, School of Nursing, College of Education, Student Health Center, Police and Parking Services, and Graduate and Continuing Studies.
“… The BSN program this past spring graduated 75 students,” Scott said. “We had 100 percent retention rate …When you’re admitted to this program, they line up with you and are ready to help you all the way through to graduation.”
PSU’s nursing school has had a 99 percent pass rate, as well as a 100 percent placement rate, according to Scott.
“… Our application numbers have shot out the roof, as you might guess, because we have grant money, which is bringing more students to Pittsburg State and we are so thrilled about that,” Giefer said.
Pittsburg Police Chief Brent Narges said the trauma endured by a victim of sexual assault, coupled with the procedures necessary to collect valuable evidence, make having highly trained and compassionate SANE nurses invaluable in conducting a thorough investigation
“This grant will provide significant resources to our community through training, education, and specialized equipment, which are crucial to gather important forensic evidence to strengthen our cases for prosecution” Narges said.
Overstreet said the grant will fill an unfortunate need that is great in the community, and as the only SANE nurse currently working she understands the professional and personal struggle of these cases.