January 31, 2024

Stronger academic partnerships could improve nurse recruitment

Editor's Note

Chief Nursing Officers should reestablish academic partnerships in order to strengthen pipelines into the nursing industry that were fractured during the COVID-19 pandemic, according a January 29 analysis in Health Leaders Media.

As the healthcare industry nationwide struggles with inadequate staffing, widespread nurse burnout, and many veteran nurses nearing retirement, there’s a need to quickly ramp up support for student nurses to provide resources for success. As an example, the analysis cites The University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (IUPMC), which partners with 140 different schools. A senior nurse leader serving as the point person for each of those academic partnerships. UPMC’s academic affairs office also includes a CNO who helps in building relationships, forging new partnerships, and finding placements for nursing students. 

Another way to improve retention and strengthen the pipeline is to provide support for nurses working in health systems to pursue additional degrees and educational programs. In addition, utilizing ambassadors and student nurse interns allows students to receive clinical experience and sets the stage for recruitment opportunities. 

Finally, CNOs are encouraged to provide support for incoming nurses once they are hired – providing skills training in de-escalation and wellbeing support, for example. “We have a wellbeing committee of frontline staff and we’ve been working with our own health plan to develop a tool kit,” says Maribeth McLaughlin, vice president and chief nurse executive at UPMC. “That’s where we’re now very focused, trying to support those nurses.”

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