Pathway to the Future: How Workforce Development and Quality Jobs Can Promote Quality Care Conference Package. Three-Year, Hospital-Based Nursing Degree at a Rural Community Hospital

05/01/2004

Grant amount: $200,000

Leveraged amount: $405,939 cash and in-kind contributions from Berger Health System

Grantee: Berger Health System, Circleville, Ohio

Key partners: Ohio University

Grant activities will take place in Pickaway County and adjacent counties and small cities in Ohio.

Challenge
The acute care sector in rural areas experiences nursing shortages due to up-front costs for education and books, lack of role models, and a lack of knowledge of career opportunities. Hence, rural citizens often do not take advantage of the opportunity to attain the professional goal of becoming a registered nurse. There is also a lack of capacity at the local university to educate all qualified nursing school applicants.

Addressing the Challenge
With its $200,000 grant, the Berger Health System and Ohio University will meet the needs of the rural community hospital by holding all classes and clinical rotations at the Berger Hospital facilities for the three-year, university-based Associate Degree nursing program. Berger Health System agreed to sponsor one instructor, provide space, and accept students into clinical rotations. Ohio University agreed to supply the curriculum, faculty, and degrees.

Projected Outcomes
The Berger Health System and Ohio University will educate 30 incumbent employees and non-traditional students to become registered nurses in a community hospital versus a university setting. They also will document their progress and results so that the program can serve as a framework for other rural communities and hospitals.

Sustainable Impact
The project provides new and innovative ways to meet educational and workforce needs in rural regions. Due to the strong partnerships of the Berger Health System, Ohio University, and the local community, the project will serve as a model and be able to be repeated throughout the nation.

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