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Nursing apprentice program helps alleviate nursing scarcity | localnews

MOULTRIEGa. — Thanks to 2 new federally funded grants, technical faculty college students in excessive demand profession paths now have entry to extra funding and coaching alternatives as apprentices.

The Apprenticeship State Enlargement (ASE) grant is a federal grant from america Division of Labor, which was awarded to the State of Georgia to advertise the creation of Registered Apprenticeship Applications all through the state. The Technical Faculty System of Georgia’s Workplace of Workforce Growth administers the ASE grant.

The Apprenticeship for Financial Restoration (AER) grant supplies funding for apprenticeships that upskill Georgia’s workforce into careers in industries key to the state’s financial restoration akin to healthcare, manufacturing, and transportation. This grant is federally funded via Georgia’s State Fiscal Restoration Fund and allotted to the State of Georgia via the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021.

Putting certified candidates in healthcare careers like nursing is among the major aims for each grants, in keeping with a press launch from Southern Regional Technical Faculty.

The statewide nursing scarcity in Georgia rose to crucial ranges throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, in keeping with Colquitt Regional Medical Middle’s Chief Nursing Officer and Vice President of Affected person Providers Dena Zinker, MSN, RN, NE-BC, FACHE. Previous to the pandemic, the medical heart usually had fewer than 10 nursing positions open. In the course of the pandemic, that quantity rose to over 100 nursing job openings. Zinker stated that her nursing workforce rallied and took nice satisfaction in offering distinctive care to their sufferers with out counting on journey nurses to cowl the scarcity.

“Our nurses didn’t need us to usher in journey nurses,” she stated. “They confirmed up they usually confirmed out in order that we by no means needed to. They labored extremely onerous and took care of the sufferers. One of many largest satisfaction moments Colquitt Regional had throughout the pandemic was the entire employees pulling collectively to deal with our neighborhood.”

Along with not counting on journey nurses throughout the pandemic, Colquitt Regional has continued to broaden its amenities and employees over the previous two years. Zinker credit a lot of the hospital’s nurse staffing success to a proactive method to recruitment and coaching partnerships. Colquitt Regional affords nurse externships for nursing college students of their final yr of nursing faculty, in addition to nurse residences for just lately graduated nurses. The extern program is a shadowing expertise that places nursing college students on the bedside with a registered nurse to present them a greater understanding of what it means to be a nurse. The nurse residency program builds on the nursing faculty basis with superior hands-on abilities coaching and rotations akin to doctor residency packages. Collectively, these packages put together stronger, extra assured nurses who’re geared up to take care of acutely ailing sufferers earlier of their careers, in keeping with Zinker. In addition they function a robust recruitment instrument.

“Our employees are nice ambassadors for our facility,” stated Zinker. “We all know that if we will get these college students in our facility working elbow-to-elbow with our employees, we will win their hearts.”

Because the apprenticeship partnership with SRTC started in July of 2022, Colquitt Regional has recruited 14 Southern Regional Technical Faculty Nursing (SRTC) college students and up to date graduates as nurse apprentices. Nurse externs, nurse residents, and licensed sensible nurses concerned with incomes their Affiliate of Science in Nursing diploma are capable of benefit from the apprenticeship program. The apprentices could use grant funding for work or school-related bills together with certification checks, faculty tuition and costs, nursing tools and uniforms, childcare, and mileage reimbursement.

Zinker stated that the apprenticeship program serves as an additional benefit that makes the extern and residency packages much more interesting to nursing college students and up to date graduates. Along with grant funding, pupil nurses profit from Colquitt Regional nurse mentorship. Zinker stated that her veteran nurses take these mentorships significantly.

“Our nursing employees acknowledge the worth of this system and the way completely different it seems to be when a nurse graduates from these coaching packages; how way more ready the nursing graduates are to hitch our workforce upon program completion,” she stated.

“It’s robust to stroll right into a room and say, ‘I’m going to be your nurse right now,’” she stated. “This program strengthens them as nurses. They emerge from this system way more prepared to start their careers.”

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