$250,000 grant to help train nurses
HMSA Foundation officials hope to help alleviate a national shortage of nurses
The Hawaii Medical Service Association Foundation will try to help find solutions to the nation's nursing shortage.
The HMSA Foundation received a two-year $250,000 grant as part of the five-year $10 million program involving 10 foundations.
"We're psyched to win this competitive grant," Mark Forman, HMSA Foundation executive administrator, said in an interview. "It brings young nursing students into real-world workplaces where all the action happens. Facilities can ensure that incoming nurses know what they need to know, and students learn in the actual workplace they're studying to join. That's very cool for all involved."
Preliminary data indicate a shortage this year of about 960 registered nurses, said Sandra LeVasseur, associate director for research, Hawaii State Center for nursing. The shortage is estimated to reach 2,220 by 2016 and 2,670 by 2020, she said.
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and Northwest Health Foundation are leading the initiative, called "Partners Investing in Nursing's Future."
"This unique program brings foundations together to learn from each other and engage others as they address a very serious problem in their communities," said Susan Hassmiller, senior program officer at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, in a news release.
"One size won't fit all, and we need solutions that will work close to home," said Judith Woodruff, Northwest Health Foundation director of strategic initiatives and program director for the new partnership program.
Schools of nursing are partnering with long-term care facilities to train student nurses and provide additional professional training for the facility nurses, said Barbara Mathews, Hawaii State Center for Nursing executive director.
Initial efforts are focused on long-term care because it's believed the nursing shortage will be more severe in that area in the future, she said.
Tony Krieg, Hale Makua chief executive officer, was responsible for getting key people together to talk about applying for the grant, Mathews said.
Getting enough clinical sites for nurses to get experience has been an issue with expanded nursing educational programs and the long-term care facilities will serve as educational sites, Mathews said.
"It will provide an opportunity for students to discover that long-term care is a very satisfying and rewarding place to have nursing care and geriatric nursing is an important specialty."
Lois Greenwood, director of Vital and Innovative Training and Economic Development Center at Maui Community College, will work with the partners to develop a "preceptor training program." Greenwood will train two nurses at each facility in clinical and leadership skills and they will train others, Mathews said.
"If we get good outcomes that tell us things about recruitment and retention in long-term care, we will be able to disseminate this statewide."