Skip to main content

Ohio State collaboration for Reimagining Nursing Initiative awarded transformative grant


A collaboration of The Ohio State University Colleges of Nursing and Engineering to use extended reality (XR), artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) to revolutionize nursing education has received a highly-competitive grant from the American Nurses Foundation’s (The Foundation) Reimagining Nursing Initiative.

The three-year, $1.5 million grant from The Foundation will support Disrupting Nursing Education with XR, AI and ML, a project which seeks to use cutting-edge technology to better prepare nursing graduates for high-stakes, real-world situations. Deploying technology-enabled learning tools across the core curriculum will build students’ competencies that can be validated in clinical experience. XR can provide tailored support based on each student’s needs. The AI/ML tool can address critical points in patient care when decisive nurse interventions make life-or-death differences.

Extended reality with a view inside a blood vessel
Extended reality (XR) with a view inside a blood vessel.

“If we want to fulfill our promise to dream, discover and deliver a healthier world for our future, we must prepare our students to create that future,” said Bernadette Melnyk, PhD, APRN-CNP, FAANP, FNAP, FAAN, vice president for health promotion, university chief wellness officer and dean of the College of Nursing. “This awesome project out of our Center for Healthcare Innovation and Leadership will utilize new-age technology and revolutionary design to transform how we educate our students to be evidence-based, confident and innovative clinicians. We are so grateful to The Foundation and to our terrific partners at the College of Engineering who saw our vision and potential to truly disrupt nursing education and prepare clinicians to transform health and improve lives.”

The College of Nursing’s lead on this initiative will be Michael Ackerman, PhD, director of the college’s Center for Healthcare Innovation and Leadership; Wendy Bowles, PhD, assistant dean for baccalaureate programs, and Amy Jauch, PhD, director of prelicensure programs, will serve as co-principal investigators. The College of Engineering partnership will be led by Mike Rayo, PhD, assistant professor of integrated systems engineering.

portrait of Mike Rayo

“This initiative is Ohio State in a nutshell. Two seemingly separate disciplines collaborating and converging to improve the human experience,” said Ayanna Howard, PhD, dean of the College of Engineering. “We are seeing AI and machine learning already impacting healthcare in areas like drug delivery, imaging and diagnosis. Now it’s time for nursing education to benefit, and we are ready to partner and lead the way.”

The Foundation today announced $14 million in funding over three years for 10 projects, including Ohio State’s, after reviewing nearly 350 proposals from across the country in three categories: Practice-Ready Nurse Graduates, Technology-Enabled Nursing Practice and Direct-Reimbursement Nursing Models.

“We know that nurses are ready and eager to lead the change that’s necessary in our healthcare system, especially given the recent challenges nurses have been facing with the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Kate Judge, executive director of The Foundation. “The RN Initiative is funding ideas developed and led by nurses with their unmatched perspective on prevention, wellness and delivery of healthcare services. I am truly looking forward to seeing the Ohio State team’s educational disruption in action and seeing how we can scale its innovation to benefit generations of healthcare leaders.”

The College of Nursing/College of Engineering team is expected to report results, deliver evidence demonstrating the project’s impact and provide resources to help scale the innovation within the profession by 2025.

written in collaboration with College of Nursing communications

Categories: ResearchFaculty
Tag: medical