Nursing Leaders Wanted

Nursing Leaders Wanted

By Nick Dmitrovich with IWU and IU
Nurses are the men and women who put us back together during some of our most broken moments. And right now, Indiana definitely needs more of them.

A 2013 study performed by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Resources showed there are fewer registered nurses (RNs) ages 36 to 45 working today than nine years prior to the study. Also, the study estimated that by 2023, nearly 1 million RNs older than 50 would reach retirement age. Experts are even predicting a nursing workforce shortfall of 260,000 nurses by the year 2025.

On top of all that, given that it’s the state’s veteran nurses that are retiring, there exists even more demand for nurses who can assume leadership roles.

Fortunately, new pathways are already being developed to train the next generation of nursing leaders. Several of Indiana’s universities are already spearheading the trend to produce the kinds of skilled nurses the Hoosier healthcare industry needs. Take a look at some of this summer’s announcements –

Incentivizing Continued Education

It’s not easy to go back to school, especially if you’re a nurse. Why not bring the classroom to the students instead?

Parkview Regional Medical Center and Eskenazi Hospital have partnered with Indiana Wesleyan University (IWU) to bring college classes to the nurses in their hospitals. The program is also offered in other hospitals and online, to provide more options to working medical staff. The first group of RNs at Parkview and Eskenazi began taking classes in August 2015 to earn their Bachelor of Science in Nursing and are scheduled to graduate in May 2017 with their bachelor’s degrees. A new group of RNs has also recently begun the program.

“The RN to BSN classes at Eskenazi are what we call a ‘blended’ option. In other words, half the classes in the 19-month program are on-site and the other half are on-line. This option not only gives students the convenience of taking classes online but also the benefit of meeting face-to-face with their classmates and instructor. For some students, face-to-face enhances the learning experience, reduces stress and improves learning outcomes,” said Mark Montefiori, IWU Corporate Representative.

By helping nurses earn their bachelor’s degrees at work, IWU’s program is incentivizing continued education for working nurses. As an added incentive and part of an effort to combat the shortage, the university is also discounting tuition for nurses seeking to grow their expertise.

A Step Further

Moving beyond the attainment of bachelor’s degrees, the IU School of Nursing recently celebrated the fourth year of its Doctors of Nursing Practice programming, which brings together national and global experts from numerous different hospitals in an effort to produce the kinds of nursing leadership candidates that future healthcare providers will need. Graduates of the program are able to lead teams, manage clinical departments, impact health policy and do even more within many different kinds of organizations.

The school recently launched what it calls the DNP Capstone Portfolio, which combines a wide range of disciplines aimed at transitioning nurses into administrators – or as the university puts it, “to prepare nurses, used to scrubs and clinical environments, to excel in the c-suite.” Lessons incorporate elements from nursing, informatics & computing, communication, design, bioengineering and technology into administrative pathway.

After the university launched its program, Julie Meek, PhD, RN, and coordinator for the DNP program, commented on how the idea came to life.

“We have a wonderful tradition of community partnerships. So, when we were considering how to advance the DNP program, it seemed so natural to ask the executive nurse leaders in our community what they needed from our graduates to move their organizations to the next level,” Meek said. “We already had an incredibly strong DNP program, a solid foundation. Now, we could take the extra steps to deliver a more robust and targeted nurse executive leadership doctorate.”

The DNP program at IU Health is also linked to the nursing programs at Indiana Wesleyan. IWU offers tuition discounts to IU Health employees for most of IWU’s adult programs in Indiana.

“This partnership agreement gives IU Health employees an affordable way to complete their undergraduate degree or reach for that graduate education,” said R. David Rose, Vice President of Enrollment and Marketing for Non-residential Services in Adult Enrollment Services at IWU. “Our adult learning programs are set up in a convenient format for working adults.”

Programs like these are going to stand out as a great way to solve the problem of too few nursing leaders within the industry, because of the innovative way they’re approaching the issue. By bringing education options to working professionals, more and more nurses will seize the opportunity to continue learning and growing their skills.




Other Ways Hospitals are Incentivizing Nurses

Community Health Network in Indianapolis has added a new hire bonus this year of $2,000 for nursing applicants with a year of nursing experience. Also, any employee could qualify for a $1,000 bonus for helping the system hire a registered nurse, nurse practitioner or clinical nurse specialist on board, or $500 for helping to hire a licensed practical nurse.

IU Health’s two major hospitals in Indianapolis—Methodist and University—created a one-year nursing residency program for new nurses in 2012. Under the program, new graduate nurses enroll in a year-long program that focuses on mentorship and integrating fresh faces into the profession.

Source: Indianapolis Business Journal, CHN, IU Health