Maricopa County launches pilot to streamline nurses to workplace readiness

Maricopa County is launching a pilot program to combat its local nursing shortage.

Even though more than 2,000 New Graduate Nurses(NGNs) graduate from colleges and universities in the county each year, some of them cannot immediately practice due to a lack of clinical placements, nurse residency, and transition-to-practice programs.

Using funding from the American Rescue Plan, the county will launch a pilot program to allow more college seniors to get hands-on experience so they’re ready to practice by the time they graduate.

“Without hands-on clinical experiences, NGNs can feel unprepared for and overwhelmed by their first job. In fact, many choose to leave the profession permanently within two years of graduation,” the Pilot Project Manager Robin Schaeffer said in a press release. “And think of it from an employer and patient safety perspective. Since the pandemic hit, hands-on clinical experiences and practice readiness have decreased and onboarding time of NGN hires has increased. This comes at a significant financial cost and adds additional stress to the current staff. It’s just not sustainable.” 

In the county’s pilot program, 50 senior nursing students will spend their final six weeks before graduation working one-on-one with a nurse preceptor in one of five professional nursing environments, including community entities and hospitals.

The pilot program will cover costs associated with preceptors and grants for nursing students. 

“I’m hopeful this program will be a model for how communities can close the education-practice gap and get a new generation of nurses into hospitals and health care settings where they can make a difference and save lives,” Schaeffer said in the press release.

This article was originally posted on Maricopa County launches pilot to streamline nurses to workplace readiness

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