A new program from Oregon Health & Science University will help fill an important gap in nurse development efforts: preparing educators who build new and future nurses for long-term success in healthcare and nursing leadership.
The newly formed Oregon Nursing Education Academy, supported by a nearly $4 million grant from the US Health Resources and Services Administration, aims to increase the number of clinical nursing faculty and educators – experienced nurses who recently graduate nurses and nursing students in hospitals, clinics and others oversee other patient care settings. All nurses who enroll in the academy receive scholarships that cover all or most of the program’s tuition fees.
“As we work to increase the number of working nurses to meet the growing need for patient care, we must also increase the number of nurse educators who help new and prospective nurses differentiate themselves as nurses,” he added added Joanne Noone, Ph.D., RN, ANEF, FAAN, Professor at the OHSU School of Nursing. “Oregon Nursing Education Academy is a direct response to the increasing nursing shortage by encouraging more experienced nurses to teach, mentor and support their less experienced peers.”
Nobody leads the effort in cooperation with Tiffany Allen, MN, RN, PCCN-Kwho, in addition to his work as an instructor at the OHSU School of Nursing, acts as project manager for the academy.
While there is a shortage of nursing colleges nationwide, the problem is particularly acute in the western United States, where the American Association of Colleges of Nursing reports that these are the highest rates of nursing colleges in the nation. In 2020, 14.8% of Oregon nursing school positions remained vacant.
Through the academy, OHSU aims to train a total of 63 faculty and 92 faculty from Oregon, Idaho, Washington and Alaska by the fall of 2026.
To better prepare future nursing educators to address inequalities in health care, Academy courses will include discussions about social determinants of health that cause underserved communities to suffer disproportionately from some health problems compared to other communities.
The influx of nurse educators trained through the academy is expected to strengthen healthcare delivery across Oregon, as will OHSU’s efforts to increase both the number and diversity of graduates from OHSU’s core healthcare professional training programs .
“Building educational capacity is a key element to meet the anticipated demand for new nurses, as well as OHSU’s commitment to increasing its graduate roster by 2030,” he said Susan Bakewell-Sachs, Ph.D., RN, FAAN, Vice President of Nursing Affairs and Dean of OHSU School of Nursing. “This important program will train clinical nurses with the knowledge and skills they need to train undergraduates and mentor new graduates, adding key nursing faculty and teachers.”
To enroll in the academy, nurses must already have a bachelor’s degree or higher in nursing. Enrollments learn through online courses taught by OHSU faculty. Those who participate in the Academy’s faculty learn through the OHSU School of Nursing’s master’s degree in nursing education, which typically lasts up to two years. The curriculum will expand learning beyond OHSU’s existing curriculum by allowing participants to complete two additional graduate courses, one focused on the social determinants of health and the other on clinical nursing.
Most Academy student places are reserved for nurses currently working for one of these five clinical partners where nurse educators facilitate clinical rotations for OHSU nursing students: Salem Health Hospital & Clinics, Grande Ronde Hospital & Clinics in La Grande, Sky Lakes Medical Center in Klamath Falls, Asante Health System in southern Oregon and OHSU Hospital in Portland.
The first batch of nurses enrolled in the Oregon Nursing Education Academy faculty path will begin classes in January 2023. Applications for this path will be accepted until the end of November 2022. Classes for the Academy’s first cohort of teachers will begin in March 2023, with applications due in early 2023.
Interested parties should email email@example.com.