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Ohio Collaborative Model Proactively Addresses the Looming Nursing Shortage

Zolot, Joan PA

AJN The American Journal of Nursing: June 2017 - Volume 117 - Issue 6 - p 14
doi: 10.1097/01.NAJ.0000520237.83901.d7
In the News

Financial support and mentoring to help more students attain BSNs.

An innovative collaboration involving the University Hospitals (UH) system, Cleveland State University (CSU), and Cuyahoga Community College (Tri-C) aims to increase the number of baccalaureate-trained nurses to address barriers to completion of the bachelor of science in nursing (BSN) degree and avert an anticipated nursing shortage in Northeast Ohio.

Nationwide, the United States faces a shortage of more than 1 million nurses by 2022. In Northeast Ohio, the projected shortage is 3,500 by 2020, according to Timothy Gaspar, dean of the CSU School of Nursing.

According to Gaspar, the collaborative aims to minimize financial barriers and increase mentoring and coaching for nursing students, all while moving toward the Institute of Medicine's goal of an 80% baccalaureate-prepared nursing workforce by 2020. “We are a little over 45% right now,” he said. “Financial barriers are the number one issue holding students back from getting a BSN. So the three institutions have stepped up. By raising the bar and making it possible for more students to earn a BSN, we are increasing the quality of life and professional opportunities for nurses and the quality of care for every patient they care for. That's our future.”

Here are some examples of what the collaborative does:

  • At CSU, a new, primarily evening and weekend BSN program will admit 64 students annually.
  • Through its new Nursing Scholars program, UH will offer 20 CSU students a $12,000 tuition support contract for their junior and senior years, after which they will work for two years at UH.
  • Tri-C will offer graduates enrolling in the CSU RN-to-BSN program a $3,000 scholarship. Twenty Tri-C students will receive a UH Nursing Scholars $12,000 tuition support contract.
  • Students will be able to work as part-time nursing assistants at UH while attending school. Mentoring and support services will be provided to help them complete their education while managing work and family responsibilities.

The collaborative could be a model for other regions of the country facing shortages, said Gaspar. “We are building on the strength of all three institutions, and we all have the same goals.”—Joan Zolot, PA

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