Nursing students working on a sim dummy

News Release

LC State’s Nursing & Health Sciences receives $50,000 grant

LEWISTON, Idaho – The Lewis-Clark State College Nursing & Health Sciences Division has been awarded a $50,000 grant from the Lewis Clark Valley Healthcare Foundation (LCVHF) for skills lab equipment updates in the college’s Clinical Resource Center.

The college received notification this month that they were awarded their grant request for $50,000 to purchase equipment upgrades for the nursing skills lab to help nursing students better gain the knowledge and skills needed for the clients they serve. To become a licensed nurse, students who have earned their Bachelor of Science in Nursing must also pass the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX). LC State has a first-time NCLEX-RX pass rate consistently above 90 percent and has averaged close to 93 percent over the last five years. The national average first-time NCLEX-RX pass rate in 2023 was 79.8 percent.

To complement what nursing students learn in the classroom, LC State has a nursing skills lab for a student-centered learning environment. The students can take the skills they learn in the lab and apply them during the practicums and internships.

There are different components to the skills lab, including manikins that can display a variety of symptoms. Students can assess, interact and provide appropriate interventions to these life-like simulated manikins and have been doing so at the college for nearly two decades.

In the grant request, LC State said because of the nursing shortage in Idaho, there has been a call to increase student enrollment in the BSN program. With a steady enrollment growth that has reached more than 60 students entering the program each semester, LC State officials said they need more equipment to make sure students receive quality training, including time with the manikins. LC State has created additional patient rooms within the lab with the help of carpenters from the college’s physical plant.

With this extra space, LC State plans to use the grant to purchase three hospital beds, three manikins, eight central venous pressure transducers kits, eight IV pumps, and assorted equipment for patient care practice.

In its application, LC State faculty wrote the new equipment “will improve the system supporting health and wellness by providing a state-of-the-art teaching/learning environment that sustains prepared graduates. First and second semester nursing students spend a large majority of their time working, learning, and collaborating in the skills lab. Once they reach their senior year, the students return and mentor the first year students, and refresh themselves in rudimentary nursing skills.”

In its award letter, the foundation said the requests for funding were highly competitive. The letter said “we believe that your project will have a positive impact on the lives and health of the people in the nine county region the Foundation serves.

The LCVHF was formed in 2017 when Ascension Health sold St. Joseph Regional Hospital. The hospital went from public to privately owned, which forced the closure of the hospital’s own foundation. As part of the sale, a new foundation was established that would be administered for the benefit of residents within the hospital’s service area, which includes nine counties in three states. A local board of community advisors was appointed to help the foundation fulfill its philanthropic mission of promoting community health, wellness, and disease prevention.

Each year, the foundation grants money through fast-track small grants and impact/large grants. The impact/large grants are intended for requests from $25,000 up to $100,000. Priority is given to applications that demonstrate a commitment to longer-term vision, and projects that address the root causes that affect health, wellness, and help disease prevention. Applicants must meet certain guidelines to be eligible for the grants.

For more information on LC State’s grant, contact Celeste Ellis, assistant professor in the LC State Nursing & Health Sciences Division, at 208-792-2414 or [email protected]. For more information on the nursing program, visit the division website at