Yale New Haven Hospital Receives Grant to Support Nurse Residency Apprenticeship Program

Yale New Haven Hospital Receives Grant to Support Nurse Residency Apprenticeship Program

Yale New Haven Hospital (YNHH) recently received a grant from the US Department of Labor to support its Nurse Residency Apprenticeship Program, a workplace training program for recently graduated nurses. According to YaleDailyNews.com, Yale New Haven Hospital will receive $3,500 for each nurse in the program through the American Apprenticeship Initiative Grant.

YNHH’s program is one of many apprenticeship programs to receive funding from the Connecticut Department of Labor. The US Department of Labor has allotted a total of $5 million in grant money for programs in the state.

The Nurse Residency Apprenticeship program at YNHH was the first of its kind in Connecticut when it was established in 2005. During the one-year residency, new nursing school graduates receive mentorship, computer-based training and monthly lectures, and strategies for stress management.

Judith Hahn, who oversees the apprenticeship program, tells YaleDailyNews.com, “The responsibility of the hospital is great in making sure that they’re comfortable and that they’re confident and that they have safe experiences for them and their patients, and that’s really costly to do right.”

All new nursing graduates who begin working at YNHH are required to go through the program. More than 180 nurses have enrolled in the program since July 1, with 40 more nurses expected to begin the program in the coming months. The newly graduated nurses have the opportunity to gain experience in a variety of hospital settings.

To learn more about Yale New Haven Hospital’s Nurse Residency Apprenticeship Program, visit here.

‘Find a Niche that You Love’

‘Find a Niche that You Love’

Vanderbilt’s dean of nursing on her career path and advice to others

“The field has grown tremendously in terms of academic advancements, but also in terms of nurses being viewed as key players in healthcare decision-making,” explained Linda Norman, DSN, RN, Valere Potter Menefee Professor in nursing and dean of Vanderbilt University’s School of Nursing in Nashville.

I recently had the privilege of sitting down with her to ask her questions about her personal career, and about the field of nursing in general.

She says she knew from a young age that she wanted to go into nursing education. She completed both her Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees at the University of Virginia. She gained experience between completing the two degrees by teaching at a Hospital-based program, and simultaneously working as a staff-nurse on the weekends, and in the summer.

After finishing up her Master’s, Norman became a part of a National Heart, Lung and Blood grant. She helped establish hypertension detection and adherence clinics in southwest Virginia and northwest Tennessee.

When the project ended, she took on a new role, teaching at East Tennessee State University (ETSU). After only a brief time at ETSU, she was promoted to serve as chair of her department.

Norman moved to Nashville a few years later, and began working as the director of Aquinas College’s Nursing program, while also earning her doctorate from the University of Alabama. After completing the degree, she was offered a position as the Associate Dean of Academics at Vanderbilt’s nursing school. In 2012, Norman was given the endowed chair, and in the following year, became dean.

While she earned her degrees and landed job offers, Norman had other responsibilities as well. She was already a wife and mother to two children. She always managed to strike a balance between work and family.

How has the field of nursing changed for the better and for the worse since your career began?

“I think the role that nurses play has grown exponentially. Today, we do not have to convince people of the value that nurses bring. Both healthcare professionals and the public understand that nurses play an important role, and that advanced practice nurses are vital to our industry. People have also realized that we need nurse scientists and Doctorally prepared nurses as clinicians and administrators. I think that the field has grown tremendously in terms of academic advancements, but also in terms of nurses being viewed as key players in healthcare decision-making. In my opinion, the most significant growth has occurred over the past ten or fifteen years.

“I feel that some change still needs to be made regarding entry into practice. It can be confusing because right now someone could become a nurse through an Associate’s program, a hospital-based diploma program, or a Bachelor’s program. I would like to think that changing the laws to make the bachelor degree the only route would decrease confusion so people would understand that a nurse is a nurse is a nurse.”

Why did you decide to get your Doctorate of Science in Nursing?

“I needed my doctoral degree to stay in academics. When I went for my master’s that was the terminal degree in nursing. Shortly after graduating, I knew that in order for me to do what I wanted to do – be a leader in the academic arena- I needed to get my doctorate.

“During the time when I was getting my education, it was typical to take years between degrees in order to gain experience. We have learned a lot now, and that mindset is not longer true … You do not need years of experience anymore. Whether you want to do a research doctorate or a practice doctorate I would recommend going straight through. There are a few advantages: one of which is that you’re in study mode, which makes for an easier transition; another one is that if you get your master’s and start your DNP as a part time student while you’re working as a licensed NP, you can start applying the learning from your coursework immediately.”

How do you effectively balance your personal life with your work life?

“When I started my master’s I had a 15-month-old and a three-year-old. Even though they were active little people, they fell asleep at 7 pm. So I could study from 8 pm until midnight.

“When I started my doctorate, I had a sixth-grader and an eighth-grader, and they did not fall asleep at 7 pm. At this point, in addition to school I was working full-time as director of a nursing program. I had to figure out when I was a student, when I was director, and when I was a wife and a mom.

“I found out that I could not study when everyone else in the house was awake. I also realized that going to the library was unrealistic. I determined that I could accomplish more between two and four in the morning than I could at any other time of the day. No one was up, and even the dog was asleep! I started waking up at about 2 AM naturally. I would get up, and do my reading, or start my paper. Then, around 4 am, I would start to get sleepy, and I would go back to sleep. I would wake up again around 6 am and fool myself into feeling as though I had gotten a full night of sleep. I still wake up in the middle of the night to this day, especially during budget season. Being able to compartmentalize your various roles in life in order to give attention to whatever is needed at a given moment is the key.”

What advice do you have for nursing students of today?

“Look broadly for opportunities that you are truly interested in. I look at people who really flourish, and they find that one area that they are particularly passionate about. Try to land your first job in an area of healthcare that you love. This way, you will be energized to learn a lot. Whether it’s chronic disease, prevention, or anything else, find a niche that you love, and then what you do will not be your job … it will be your career.”

This story was originally published by MedPage Today, a trusted and reliable source for clinical and policy coverage that directly affects the lives and practices of health care professionals and provider of free CME.

Western New Mexico University Graduates First Cohort of BSN-Level Nurses

Western New Mexico University Graduates First Cohort of BSN-Level Nurses

Western New Mexico University’s (WNMU) first group of students to complete the traditional pre-licensure Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree program graduated at a pinning ceremony held this week.

These graduates are already leading in their field simply by enrolling in the BSN program, fulfilling the Institute of Medicine’s (IOM) recommendation that the number of nurses holding BSN degrees increase to 80 percent by 2020.

WNMU uses the New Mexico Education Consortium (NMNEC) curriculum, which prepares nurses across the state to deliver patient care. Alexis Harsh, Assistant Professor of Nursing at WNMU, explains the focus on writing intensive courses to WNMU.edu:

“This is the most comprehensive undergrad degree…Nursing school exams feature mainly application and analysis level questions. They aren’t looking for answers that you could memorize the night before the test. What you learned the first day, you have to know the last day. That’s a big change from how most of us do school.”

The nurses who graduated from the BSN program come from a variety of backgrounds and have a range of interests for their future nursing careers from pediatrics and NICU nursing to case management and behavioral health. As students, they worked clinicals at a variety of local medical centers and hospitals, averaging 12 clinical hours per week, as well as fulfilling clinical requirements in a child development center, Headstart program, and Walgreens.

This experience allowed these students to network and gain real job experiencing prior to graduating and joining the nursing workforce. The graduates will now study to take the NCLEX exam to receive their Registered Nurse license and begin practicing as nurses.

To learn more about WNMU’s first BSN nursing cohort, visit here.

George Washington University School of Nursing to Install New Student Spaces and Simulation Lab

George Washington University School of Nursing to Install New Student Spaces and Simulation Lab

The George Washington University (GW) has set plans in motion to revamp the School of Nursing’s flagship building on the Virginia Science and Technology campus. Renovations are set to begin soon and conclude in summer 2018, adding a communal space for online and graduate students, and a new patient simulation lab.

The new common space will be designed as a place for nursing students to gather, giving them a sense of community on the isolated campus. As a hub for student resources, the new space is expected to promote student engagement and improve campus culture.

Pamela Jeffries, dean of the GW School of Nursing, tells GWHatchet.com, “This investment in our students will hopefully lead to continuous improvement of retention, completion, employment and licensure outcomes.”

GW offers 16 online nursing degree programs. The 303 online nursing students in the nurse practitioner program take their courses off campus but are required to come to campus for academic testing three times throughout the program. The lab expansion will offer new and improved resources for these students.

Renovations to complete the lab expansion will include a new space to simulate patient care including private exam rooms, acute care rooms, and more advanced technology. Distance learning students shouldn’t feel that they are at a disadvantage, and GW Nursing hopes to make these students feel more included as a result of the renovation project.

To learn more about GW Nursing’s renovation plans to create communal student spaces and a simulation lab, visit here.

Nurses of the Week: Three Omaha Nurses Retire After Combined 130 Years Experience in the Profession

Nurses of the Week: Three Omaha Nurses Retire After Combined 130 Years Experience in the Profession

Our Nurses of the Week are Diane Johnson, Mary Mangiamelli, and Judy Spaen, three nurses who spent the majority of their careers working in the same surgery unit of an Omaha hospital, amassing a combined 130 years of experience in the nursing profession. Sharing a common passion for helping others, these three women became like a second family to each other.

“It’s an interesting career. It’s a rewarding career. Health care is always something people are going to need. There are always opportunities.”

During their tenure at Creighton University Medical Center-Bergan Mercy in Omaha, NE, the three nurses treated each new day as a learning experience. Decades of working at the same hospital taught them how to work with different doctors and medical professionals and how to adapt to new and changing technologies.

Johnson tells Omaha.com, “I think it’s a great career. Each day is different. You get to meet a lot of patients, and you see them at their worst. But sometimes you can see how far and how healthy they’ve become.” Johnson began her career as an aide at Bergan and went on to complete her nursing degree during her 42-year tenure at the hospital. Her nursing career reaffirmed to her the importance of caring about people and giving each patient the individual attention they deserve.

Mangiamelli’s career spanned 44 years, including many night shifts, which taught her to appreciate the time she was able to spend with her husband and three children. Looking back on the beginning of her career, Mangiamelli shared the following with Omaha.com: “I just thought the human body was a pretty fascinating thing to explore. I don’t think I had two cases the same, because each patient has a different problem. No day ever repeated itself.”

Spaen’s career in nursing spanned 50 years in which she has “nearly seen it all.” She witnessed the Omaha hospital grow from one small wing to what it is today. Spaen remembers being unsure about whether nursing was the right field for her, but facing new challenges each day kept her engaged and drawn to the way the profession adapted, and she began to enjoy the work. Now retired, Spaen tells Omaha.com, “It’s an interesting career. It’s a rewarding career. Health care is always something people are going to need. There are always opportunities.”

These three women are a perfect example of the resiliency that nurses show every day. To learn more about their inspiring careers and passion for the nursing profession, visit here.

Grand Valley State University Creates Student Nurse Mentorship Program

Grand Valley State University Creates Student Nurse Mentorship Program

To help combat the stress of nursing school, the Student Nurses’ Association (SNA) at Grand Valley State University (GVSU) created a Transitions Mentorship Program which is in its third semester. The student-run organization immerses GVSU nursing students into the medical world through presentations, group meetings, and hands-on activities.

Jamie Platt, president of the GVSU SNA chapter, tells Lanthorn.com, “The idea behind the program is to empower our new student nurses. SNA believes that creating a strong environment through positive peer-student relationships during the beginning of nursing school will allow new students to feel confident during a vulnerable time in the nursing program.”

The Transitions program pairs lower-level nursing students with upper-level students so they can meet and discuss topics in their major and receive tips for studying for nursing exams. It offers students someone to lean on while studying in an intensive program.

GVSU’s student nurse association decided to incorporate the mentorship program based on student feedback. Many older nursing students reported the struggles they went through and wished they had had someone to help them through the program. GVSU’s nursing program is comprised of five semesters, so students in their first or second semester are paired with a student in their third, fourth, or fifth semester.

Students in the mentorship program are required to meet five times per semester and are encouraged to meet biweekly. After meeting, the mentors report back on their conversations, many of which have revolved around clinical work which makes up half of the students’ time so that they can practice skills they learn in the classroom.

The program has received positive feedback thus far, making a positive impact on students. Many students feel the mentorship program helps them feel more confident and less apprehensive about future semesters. To learn more about GVSU’s student nurse mentorship program, visit here.