'Grow Your Own' Grant Will Help Saint Luke's Health System Enhance Nursing Workforce

Sep 05, 2013, 11:19 ET from Saint Luke's Health System

$50,000 Hospital Grant designed to prepare Saint Luke's nursing workers and students for the demands of clinical and administrative advancements

KANSAS CITY, Mo., Sept. 5, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Saint Luke's Health System has been awarded a "Grow Your Own" grant from the Missouri Hospital Association to help enhance the system's nursing program.  The grant of $50,000 will be used to implement an innovative approach to clinical education for nursing students. The proposed Academic-Service Partnership is a unique collaboration through which highly skilled bedside registered nurses are educated and supported by academic faculty to fill the role as the clinical instructor for a small group of students throughout the entire semester. The goal of the Academic-Service Partnership is to prepare Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) new graduates to be practice ready with clinical knowledge, technical skills, critical thinking abilities, and communication skills necessary to be prepared for the demands of the workforce.

Grant Objectives

  • Improve quality of clinical instruction
  • Reduce ratio of students to clinical instructor from eight students per instructor to two to three students per instructor
  • Improve the practice readiness of BSN graduates who obtain clinical experience through the clinical instructor model
  • Create an opportunity for clinical nurses to receive training and explore career options as instructors

The aging population, growing number of individuals with chronic conditions and expanded access to health insurance have led to increasing demands on the health care system.  These factors and others have created an urgent need for additional hospital caregivers. In addition, implementation of the Affordable Care Act, which included significant changes to payments and health care delivery systems, coupled with new technology, such as electronic health records, has increased demand for workers with highly specialized skills.

"Saint Luke's is honored to be a recipient of the Grow Your Own grant program," said Katherine A. Howell, RN, BSN, MBA, Saint Luke's Health System vice president and Chief Nurse Executive. "Nursing is such a critical component of the continuum of care. To be able to not only enhance our program for our nursing students but to actually be able to custom design a program tailored to our specific needs is a wonderful benefit for our nurses, our health system, and ultimately our patients."

At Saint Luke's Health System, Grow Your Own funds will be used to provide specialized training for the bedside registered nurses who will function as clinical instructors. Clinical instructors will attend the two-day Clinical Faculty Academy as well as a college orientation for new instructors.

"The workforce challenge for Missouri hospitals is two fold," said Herb B. Kuhn, MHA president and CEO. "First, hospitals must address the shortage of educated health care workers, including primary care physicians, nurses, therapists, and imaging technicians to meet the expanding demand for care. Second, hospital leaders must also recruit and train talented individuals to manage increasingly complex health care organizations. The Grow Your Own program allows hospitals to address these challenges with plans that are tailored to the needs of their organizations and communities they serve."

Applications for the Grow Your Own Hospital Grant Program were submitted in July.  The applications were reviewed and selected by an independent committee composed of representatives from health care, educational institutions and nonprofit organizations with experience in health care grant development and funding processes.

About Saint Luke's Health System
Saint Luke's Health System consists of 10 area hospitals and several primary and specialty care practices, and provides a range of inpatient, outpatient and home care services. Founded as a faith-based, not-for-profit organization, our mission includes a commitment to the highest levels of excellence in health care and the advancement of medical research and education. The health system is an aligned organization in which the physicians and hospitals assume responsibility for enhancing the physical, mental and spiritual health of people in the metropolitan Kansas City area and the surrounding region.

SOURCE Saint Luke's Health System