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Rural Remodel

Dr. Crystal Murillo and Dr. Kristen Starnes-Ott received a grant from The Duke Endowment for their project, Experilearn. The Duke Endowment is a private foundation with the goal to strengthen communities in the Carolinas.

Through Experilearn, the Office of Rural Health will collaborate with practice partners across South Carolina to train faculty in rural nursing programs using simulation. Simulation should mirror traditional clinical experiences, but current practices do not accurately reflect the health care needs of patients in the state. Experilearn will create resources for faculty to integrate educational experiences that reflect the specific demographics of patients in South Carolina.

“The overall goal is to improve the health of our state by aligning what we do in our educational programs with the ever-increasing health care demands, by targeting the areas of our state most in need," says Murillo. "This novel and innovative approach will narrow the readiness-for-practice gap.” 

Forty-two of 46 counties in South Carolina are rural and most nursing students enrolled in rural programs remain in the area to practice after graduation, so it’s important that simulation training accurately reflects the work they will be doing post-graduation.

The University of South Carolina will serve as the learning hub and train faculty in five rural nursing programs. The faculty will then serve as a resource to programs in their region of the state and will be placed on a trajectory to become certified in simulation.


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