Grant amount: $1,877,517
Leveraged amount: $910,000 in cash and $294,000 in-kind from Evangelical Lutheran Good Samaritan Society (ELGSS)
Grantee: The Evangelical Lutheran Good Samaritan Society, Sioux Falls, South Dakota
Key partners: In South Dakota: Lake Area Technical Institute, Watertown; South Dakota State University, Brookings; University of South Dakota, Vermillion; Sioux Valley Hospitals and Health System, Sioux Falls; pullUin software/South Dakota Health Technology Innovations Inc., Vermillion. In Nebraska: Bellevue University, Bellevue.
Grant activities will unfold through the use of distance learning technology. Mentoring will be delivered at 25 sites mostly in Minnesota, North Dakota, and South Dakota.
Recruitment and retention of health care professionals is especially challenging in rural communities where educational opportunities are limited. Without more access to education, the health care industry's labor pool will keep shrinking.
Addressing the Challenge
With its $1,877,517 grant, ELGSS will recruit from high schools and non-traditional labor pools such as displaced workers, and collaborate with Sioux Valley Hospitals and Health System to raise public awareness of health care career opportunities. To increase retention, ELGSS will start a Mentor project for entry-level workers and develop Management Certificate training. To build the capacity of education and training providers, ELGSS will deliver online nursing programs up through the Master's degree level. Training will be offered in employees' own ELGSS long-term care facilities -- 50% of which are located in Minnesota, South Dakota, North Dakota, Iowa, and Nebraska -- through an innovative blend of distance learning, mentoring, and clinical experience in health care sites near the employees' homes.
ELGSS will implement an apprenticeship model program for Management Certificate Training with DOL and Bellevue University. ELGSS also will partner with Lake Area Technical Institute to develop and deliver an online LPN program, as well as with South Dakota State University to deliver online BSN and MSN programs, with an emphasis on geriatrics. Each part of the overall project is replicable for use throughout the nation's health care industry.
ELGSS has made a strong commitment sustain this project. Tuition and fees generated by education providers involved in this initiative will sustain their established history of producing qualified nurses.
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