The biomedical engineering field is projected to have a twenty seven percent increase in job opportunities between 2012 and 2022, and nursing is projected to have a nineteen percent increase (Bureau of Labor Statistics.)
Seeing a need for biomedical engineers with clinical experience, Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, PA will offer it’s first joint degree in nursing and biomedical engineering starting this fall. This five year program purposes to provide a strong clinical background and knowledge base for patient care while instilling understanding and application of technological innovations and advances.
“This program will give our graduates an RN license to provide the clinical care so innovations can be introduced into the healthcare system and refined,” Dr. John Viator, director of Duquesne’s biomedical engineering (BME) program said. “Our graduates will have the ability to be involved in all phases of biomedical innovation-from the identification of the clinical problem, through the development of a technical solution, to clinical outcomes evaluation.”
Recognized as a healthcare and biomedical innovation hub, Duquesne’s Pittsburgh setting will provide students with access to excellent practical opportunities. Students will gain experience in their capstone projects with healthcare and technology partners. The curriculum will incorporate the Toyota Production System principles (addressing safety, cost and efficiency) and the American Association of Critical Care Nurses’ Synergy Model.
Duquesne faculty hope that instilling a clinical knowledge base to engineering students will provide a better understanding of the actual and practical needs of the clinical setting and of patients. “Engineers do not always fully appreciate the hospital culture and the clinical needs of patients,” Mary Ellen Glasgow, RN, PhD, FAAN, dean and professor of the School of Nursing, said in the release. “This dual degree gives our students both the engineering and nursing perspectives to solve real world clinical problems.”
“Our students will begin their careers with the preparation, knowledge and worldview usually seen in those with years of experience in the field,” provost Dr. TimothyAustin said in the release. “This exciting BME/BSN partnership illustrates Duquesne’s innovative academic programs and the university’s focus on preparing students with the knowledge and skills to serve others.”
This first-in-the-nation pioneering program hopefully will spark more advancements in education depending upon it’s success. Imagine the possibility of having the medical tech needed by medical professionals and their patients designed by people with actual bedside experience. The effects of this program on the future of biomedical engineering are potentially spectacular, with advancements made for patients by nurses.
About the Author
Sarah Heroman is an RN, BSN who has found her niche as a school nurse in Texas. With almost 20 years of experience, Sarah is still passionate about the nursing field and enjoys mentoring and helping nurses continue to find the joy in their careers. She believes that a good nurse is able to combine the science and the art of nursing and find fulfillment in providing the best care for their patients.