UTHSC’s College of Nursing Receives Grant For Sickle Cell Disease Care Boot Camp for Nurses

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The University of Tennessee Health Science Center’s College of Nursing has received a $50,000 grant to develop an innovative and intensive training program for nurses who care for patients with sickle cell disease (SCD).

Dr. Artangela Henry

Global Blood Therapeutics (GBT), Inc., is funding the project through its Access to Excellent Care for Sickle Cell Patients (ACCEL) grant program, which awarded 10 grants nationwide this year. GBT is a biopharmaceutical company founded in 2011 to develop and deliver treatments for SCD, a lifelong, inherited blood disorder that affects hemoglobin, a protein carried by red blood cells that delivers oxygen to tissues and organs throughout the body. SCD affects about 100,000 people in the U.S.

The $50,000 grant will support the Sickle Cell Boot Camp to Promote Nursing Excellence, a five-day intensive course. The program is being developed in partnership with St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and the International Association of Sickle Cell Nurses and Professional Associates (IASCNAPA).

This initiative will be the first opportunity for nurses to attend an intensive five-day training course focused on attaining SCD expertise in an academic setting from instructors who are proficient in education, sickle cell disease, and research. Faculty from the UTHSC College of Nursing and members of the IASCNAPA curriculum committee will devote about 12 months to content development and peer review for the boot camp. Once completed, the course will be offered at the College of Nursing, and the simulation experiences will occur at UTHSC Center for Healthcare Improvement and Patient Simulation.

Dr. Sara Day

Sara Day, PhD, RN, FAAN, professor and assistant dean of the Center for Community and Global Partnerships in the UTHSC College of Nursing, is the principal investigator for the grant. She will be supported on the project by Assistant Professor Artangela Henry, DNP, AGACNP-BC, FNP-C, and Yvonne Carroll, JD, RN, director of patient services, department of hematology at St. Jude.

“Nurses who care for patients with sickle cell disease have an opportunity to improve health outcomes and quality of life for their patients. Nurses are responsible for ongoing assessment of patients and detection of any changes in clinical status,” Dr. Day said. “However, without the knowledge and clinical assessment skills these symptoms are often not detected at a stage when medical interventions can prevent mortality. This grant will support the development of solutions for early recognition and escalation of sickle cell patients’ care during clinical deterioration, which is a top safety priority and a lifesaving measure.”