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Ashley Franklin in healthcare simulation lab

The W.F. “Tex” and Pauline Curry Rankin Professorship in Nursing was established at Harris College of Nursing & Health Sciences by W.F. “Tex” and Pauline Curry Rankin in 1998. Tex graduated from Texas Christian University in 1940 and became a benevolent athletic and academic supporter of TCU. Endowed faculty positions like this professorship help build a powerful academic community, and TCU’s growing endowment helps the university build and sustain a high margin of academic excellence.

Fort Worth native and TCU alumna, Ashley Franklin, Ph.D., has excelled in nursing education and health care simulation research at the Harris College of Nursing & Health Sciences over the last 14 years. With numerous publications, awards and certifications, Professor Franklin has developed a national academic reputation for excellence and fostering a positive environment for growth among TCU Nursing students. Her ongoing research focuses on students’ learning outcomes in simulation and what they can do to improve them. Funds from the Rankin Professorship endowment will allow further studies into the conditions under which students learn in simulation, specifically students’ cognitive load, the amount of information that working memory can hold at one time.

Fort Worth native and TCU alumna, Ashley Franklin, Ph.D
Fort Worth native and TCU alumna, Ashley Franklin, Ph.D.

 “Holding the Rankin professorship is a huge honor. The Rankin family has a strong commitment to TCU Nursing, and their involvement has added tremendous value to nursing education. I am proud to be the Rankin Professor because it makes me part of the Rankin family’s legacy of making a difference for the TCU Nursing program, and, most importantly, our students. In this new role, I look forward to advancing TCU Nursing as a teacher and a scholar.”

Ashley Franklin in healthcare simulation lab.

Since 2011, Professor Franklin’s research has become part of the normal nurse communication practice during class activities. During these times, students engage in different parts of the nursing role centered around what can be done to improve student learning. The ultimate goal is to improve a student’s ability to provide a better patient experience. Activities like giving medications, conducting physical assessments and teaching patients about home care, give the student an opportunity to take on a leadership role. Simulations introduce students to a short hands-on experience with a zero risk to patients while providing opportunities to develop those quick decision-making skills that are needed when engaging with real patients.

“As an emerging national thought leader in Nursing and Interprofessional simulation, Dr. Franklin is elevating the stature of TCU Nursing, Harris College and TCU,” affirmed Chris Watts, Marilyn & Morgan Davies Dean of Harris College of Nursing & Health Sciences. “Dr. Franklin is an outstanding representative for this endowed position as she is highly regarded as a teacher-scholar-practitioner. She works in an interdisciplinary and collaborative fashion with junior and senior faculty in her scholarly efforts specific to health care simulation, student cognitive load, and learning outcomes.”