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USM professor chosen for Apple innovation boot camp

Photo courtesy of the University of Southern Mississippi.

Rebecca Newton, assistant professor in the College of Nursing at The University of Southern Mississippi, has been chosen to participate in the inaugural AACN-Apple Digital Innovation Boot camp: From Content to Action, set for July 9-12 in Austin, Texas. Newton is one of 30 nursing faculty from across the nation – and the only educator from Mississippi — selected for the boot camp.

The American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) launched the initiative to provide new opportunities for nursing faculty to use the latest technology to enhance learning in the classroom, laboratory, and clinical settings.

Participants in the groundbreaking event will attend sessions on creating digital content, developing iOS mobile apps and multi-touch books, and creating an engaging learning environment. More than 150 nursing faculty and staff competed for spots through a competitive application process.

Newton’s area of specialization in nursing education and her primary research focus is clinical simulation. She holds an international certification as a Certified Healthcare Simulator Educator. Newton points out that clinical simulation has been primarily based on the use of high fidelity manikins. However, that emphasis is changing with the introduction of virtual platforms that allow students to interact more easily.

“This technology is relatively new to nursing, so the opportunity to learn from one of the leaders in the digital industry, Apple, was a no-brainer,” said Newton. “Developers and programmers understand the nuances of the technology, and I want to be able to understand the same and translate it to the classroom to help students get full benefits of the digital technology.”

Newton stresses that nursing is a complex discipline requiring knowledge from many subject areas, and today’s nurses must be able to critically think.

“This generation of students relies heavily on technology for access, and they learn differently, particularly since they have never known life without the Internet or smartphones,” said Newton. “It makes perfect sense to incorporate the technology into their nursing education to help them understand nursing knowledge and application to patient care.”

Bootcamp program participants come from 20 states plus the District of Columbia and represent an array of institution types, including small liberal arts programs, public and private schools, and large academic health centers. Those attending will share details about their individual projects produced as part of this immersion experience at an upcoming AACN conference.

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