WILMINGTON, N.C., April 14, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Two of the nation's most influential nursing education associations, the Organization for Associate Degree Nursing (OADN), and the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN), are partnering with CastleBranch to help nursing students join in the fight against COVID-19.
As COVID-19 spread across the country, OADN and AACN watched as the nearly 2,000 nursing education programs they represent were put on pause. With the disease in full swing, students found themselves closed out of participating in hands-on training at healthcare facilities. It's a devastating blow for students, who need this experience to graduate and become licensed professionals. Without it, a new class of nurses is stalled at the gate, exacerbating an existing nationwide nursing shortage at a time when new healthcare professionals are needed now more than ever.
By joining forces with CastleBranch, OADN and AACN saw a unique opportunity to protect millions of aspiring healthcare professionals in a time of crisis, providing nursing programs with a way to screen for common COVID-19 indicators at no financial cost.
"COVID-19 is having a significant impact on our members, students, and clinical partners," said Donna Meyer, CEO of OADN. "We want to be proactive and provide healthcare programs with the power to screen their students for COVID-19 symptoms today so they can return to clinical rotations and join the nursing workforce as quickly as possible."
And helping new nurses join the workforce is key. Already, the profession faces an ever-widening crisis, with organizations such as the Bureau of Labor Statistics estimating a workforce shortfall of 203,000. Without new nurses entering the field, the issues will only compound, especially as existing nurses face fatigue and burnout in response to COVID-19.
"Nurses are on the front lines in the fight against COVID-19, and we have a responsibility for ensuring that these essentials caregivers are well protected," said Dr. Trautman, President and CEO of AACN. "As academic nursing leaders, we must consider ways to safely return nursing students to clinical rotations as we address the current outbreak when lockdown orders are lifted. Our partnership with CastleBranch gives us a clear path forward by helping to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and educate the next generation of life-saving nurses."
The solution, CB COVID-19 Compliance, is designed to help organizations screen for common COVID-19 symptoms and high-risk indicators, including collecting an individual's daily temperature, information on a student's travel and exposure to COVID-19, and provide educational training on preventing the spread of infectious diseases. It is being donated at no cost to healthcare education programs, students and partnered facilities through December 2020 to help students return to clinical rotations and prepare for the next wave of the disease.
"The spread of COVID-19 is a stark reminder of just how critical highly educated, qualified healthcare professionals are to the health and safety of our country," said Brett Martin, CEO of CastleBranch. "We're working with organizations like OADN and AACN to keep this community safe, supported, and prepared to return to clinical rotations."
Located in Wilmington, N.C., CastleBranch is a compliance management and infectious disease screening company serving over 17,700 healthcare programs, 1 million students, and thousands of employers and healthcare facilities nationwide. CastleBranch has 20+ years of experience, employs over 400 team members and has a long track record of providing innovative solutions for complex problems.
To learn more about how CastleBranch can help, visit discover.castlebranch.com/covid-19-resources/ or call or email us at 888.723.4263 ext. 1066, [email protected]