UTEP receives $4M to help address nursing shortage
March 5th, 2012
The University of Texas at El Paso School of Nursing has been awarded nearly $4 million from the U.S. Department of Labor to accelerate the training of future registered nurses and address the nursing shortage in Texas. UTEP is spearheading the efforts to create the Successful Transition and Retention (STaR) Program, a new graduate nurse residency program that will provide education, training and job placement assistance in the registered nurse occupation. Currently, employers are using H-1B visas to hire foreign nurses to fill those positions. The goal of the STaR program is to raise the professional and technical skill level of American graduate nurses to reduce the use of temporary skilled foreign professionals in Texas hospitals.
STaR consists of two pathways: the New Graduate Nurse Immersion Residency (NGNIR) will provide students with on-the-job training at eight Texas hospitals and enable new graduate nurses to transition to the role of bedside nurses in a quality, efficient and cost-effective manner; and the Specialty Nurse Accelerated Program (SNAP) Fellowship will continue as an accelerated, intensive training for new graduate nurses in their field of specialty.
Other academic and clinical partners involved in the effort are Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center Gayle Greve Hunt School of Nursing, the University of Texas at Austin School of Nursing, along with hospitals from the Hospital Corporation of America, which include Del Sol Medical Center and Las Palmas Medical Center in El Paso; and six Central Texas hospitals that are part of St. David’s HealthCare.
The award is part of $183 million in grants recently awarded by the Department of Labor to 43 public-private partnerships serving 28 states through the second round of funding under the H-1B Technical Skills Training Grant Competition.
According to the Texas Department of State Health Services, Texas is facing a nursing shortage of 71,000 nurses by 2020. The Bureau of Labor and Statistics projects that between 2008 and 2018 the biggest increase in job growth will occur in registered nurses with 581,500 new jobs. This represents almost 200 additional nurses at Del Sol Medical Center and Las Palmas Medical Center and almost 500 for St. David’s HealthCare and its six hospitals in the Austin area, according to the grant proposal.
Del Sol and UTEP join forces to create innovative nurse residency program [posted Feb. 16, 2012]
Twelve students at the University of Texas at El Paso’s School of Nursing won’t be job hunting come May. Instead, these future nurses already have a job, thanks to an innovative partnership between the School of Nursing and Del Sol Medical Center. The scholars are the first to take part in a new nurse residency program at Del Sol that provides eighth semester student nurses with intensive on-the-job-training during their final semester in school. Students participate in hands-on clinical experiences and deliver patient care while being immersed in the hospital’s culture, procedures and policies.
School of Nursing Dean Elias Provencio-Vasquez, PhD, said that the program illustrates that nursing education cannot function in a silo any more. “We really need to work with our clinical partners to see if we are doing a good job or what can we do better.”
While the traditional nursing program consists of 144 clinical hours, Del Sol scholars must complete 263 clinical hours by the end of the semester. Students are assigned to work in a unit in their specialty area. Currently four students are assigned to medical surgery; three are in the emergency room; two work in the cardiovascular intensive care unit; one is in the intensive care unit; and two are in the neonatal intensive care unit. Their support system includes a preceptor who is an experienced nurse and four clinical educators.
The UTEP and Del Sol partnership is the second residency program of its kind in the United States. The first was established by the University of Wisconsin.
Cindy Stout, Del Sol’s chief nursing officer, said one of the challenges that many hospitals have is the number of orientees that come in at one time. “A lot of times the students will need additional time in the clinical areas, and a program such as this gives them the opportunity to have additional time."
As part of their training, the scholars also attend specialty colleges organized by Del Sol that provide students with training in the specialized areas, such as critical care. The scholars receive a $3,500 stipend from Del Sol, tutoring and additional training in advanced cardiac life support, pediatric advanced life support and neonatal resuscitation.
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