Berndt was one of 52 faculty members accepted out of 253 applicants this year. In all, over 113 schools from 36 states were represented by the applicants.
“It’s a national program,” said Berndt. “The HITS program is hosted by experts in the field of health information technology. I have a chance to learn from their expertise.”
Berndt was notified of her selection in December and is currently working through the first phase of the program, participating in web-based modules before attending an intensive onsite workshop in Baltimore, MD, in March.
Berndt expects to complete all four phases of the project by December.
The HITS project is a collaborative effort between the Schools of Nursing at the University of Kansas, the University of Colorado Denver, Johns Hopkins University, and Indiana University. The project is supported by a five-year, $1.5 million grant provided by The Health Resources and Services Administration’s (HRSA’s) Bureau of Health Professions (BHPr) in partnership with the Office of Health Information Technology (OHIT).
The HITS project, according to its official website, is “designed to develop, implement, disseminate and sustain a faculty development collaborative (FDC) initiative to integrate information technologies in nursing curriculum and expand the capacity of collegiate schools of nursing to educate students for the 21st century.”
To earn acceptance, Berndt was required to propose a project that was in line with the goals of the HITS program. Her project proposed holding community mock disasters that would involve nursing students and volunteer emergency response agencies working together to solve the problem. The simulations will include scenarios in community settings and will address issues faced by our community, including limited access to health care services and issues involving volunteer emergency response personnel. The simulations will also address emergency preparedness and disaster management.
According to Berndt, participation in this program will improve the Nursing program at Ancilla College by giving the students the chance to work with those emergency response agencies.
“As future nurses in our community, it is important for the students to see first-hand the care community members receive before they arrive at the hospital, as much as when they are in the hospital,” said Berndt. “The program also is an opportunity for the Nursing program to give back to the community by offering training opportunities to the emergency response agencies with the human simulators.”
Ancilla College is a Catholic, two-year, co-educational, liberal arts college in Donaldson, Indiana sponsored by the Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ.