Grant adds motivational learning earlier in student education


 Motivational interviewing will be implemented into the nursing, pharmacy and counseling programs at South Dakota State University because of a three-year, $500,000 grant.

Marylou Mylant, a professor in the College of Nursing in Rapid City, S.D., received this grant from Department of Health Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration. The acceptance letter came early in the fall of 2015, however, the process of writing the grant started in early spring of 2014.

The purpose of this grant in the College of Nursing is to implement motivational interviewing into the program at earlier stages of a student’s education. Motivational interviewing is a form of interviewing in which individuals want to change. Nursing students are already exposed to this in their junior year and in their medical surgical rotation, Mylant said.

The implementation of this intervention into the curriculum will give students access to training and ultimately impact the patients they work with once they hit the workforce, according to Nancy Swenson, grant program specialist for the College of Nursing.

“This grant will help students utilize a screening process that quickly assesses the severity of substance use and identifies the appropriate level of treatment,” said Kristin Bruns, professor of counseling in the College of Counseling and Human Development. “Students will also use an intervention that focuses on increasing sight and awareness regarding substance use and motivation toward behavioral change.”

The College of Nursing is preparing to implement this into their program this spring semester. In preparation, the faculty plans to have a trainer from Pittsburgh come to the college in November and make national webinars available to faculty.

The nursing program is not the only program that will benefit from this grant. The pharmacy program will implement motivational intervention into students’ third year in the program. Phase two of this training would be to educate the people who are already working in the field according to Mylant.

SDSU’s counseling students will also benefit from this grant money. The motivational intervention training will be implemented in the second year of the master’s program. All the students will go through this training process to give them a standardized procedure to use after they graduate from SDSU, Bruns said.

“When you look at the size of South Dakota and how rural we are, and if you think about nursing, counseling and pharmacy, the amount of students we are going to be able to train in this three year period… it’s pretty phenomenal to think about the amount of people that it will impact when they go into internships and beyond,” Bruns said.

Grants are not a new thing for faculty to apply for, according to Jim Doolittle, associate vice president for research assurance. Last year, 799 applications for extramural funds for grants went through Doolittle’s office.

“All faculty have an expectation as part of their job description to do scholarly work and secure extramural funds,” Doolittle said. “Scholarly activity does include developing academic programs.”

There are two main types of grants, Swenson said. Research grants allow staff and students of South Dakota State University to research, while programs and training grants are for implementation of training into the classroom.

Grants provide the financial resources to do research and development for the university. According to Doolittle, students are able to discover knowledge that can be applied to the economic and social benefit for South Dakota and the world from the benefit of grants.