The aging of America's baby boomers, and the increased demand for care in specialized areas, have created a serious need for nurses. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services predicts a shortfall of 635,000 to 1,754,000 nurses by 2020. The result is that the future for nurses has never looked brighter!
The Health Workforce Solutions LLC, which tracks hospitals RN vacancy rates, reports that Bay Area nurse recruitment is rising after a two year slump. That is also evident from the specialized program that Samuel Merritt University (SMU) created called the Transition to Professional Nursing Practice (T2P) program.
"SMU offers a tuition free course which provides worker’s compensation and liability insurance coverage, indirect faculty oversight, and clinical lab facilities for deliberate skill practice," explained Brandy Logue, MSN, RN, Coordinator of the program and Clinical Instructor in the School of Nursing. "The goal is to maintain and strengthen the knowledge and skills of the new registered nurses in the San Francisco Bay Area and the Greater Sacramento Area so that as positions begin to open there will be nurses ready to take them."
This program is a collaboration between Kaiser Permanente Northern California (KP NCAL) and SMU. It provides a structured acute care clinical practice environment. The T2P program affords learning opportunities that support a deeper understanding of the healthcare environment in which RNs work.
"The T2P program will put a number of unemployed new grads, who have passed the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX) and are RNs, into hospitals and home care for a 15-week internship," explained Arlene Sargent, EdD, MSN, RN, associate dean for academic programs at SMU. Participants who completed the program received a certificate of completion.
The latest status report on the T2P program shows that out of the first cohort of 41, nearly half of the students have found nursing jobs. (Candidates are required to be graduates of nursing schools in five Bay Area counties (Alameda, San Francisco, Marin, San Mateo or Santa Clara) or Sacramento and hold a current California RN license.)