Tag Archives: nursing graduates

Continuing Education Vital In The Health Field - AZ Business Magazine Jul/Aug 2010

Continuing Education Is Proving Vital In The Health Field

From nurses to doctors to health care executives — and everyone in between — the job market in the medical field has tightened since 2007.

“For the first time in a decade, our undergraduate nursing graduates have had difficulty in finding positions or in obtaining a position in a specialty area in which they prefer to work, such as pediatrics, oncology or cardiovascular,” says Terry Olbrysh, director of marketing and communications at the Arizona State University College of Nursing and Health Innovation. “As the recession continues, nursing graduates’ job searches have taken longer. However, there is currently, and will always be, the need for health care, and our job market is still very strong compared to other industries in Phoenix.”

And the need for educational programs for both new and veteran health care employees continues to reach new heights.

In fact, according to Olbrysh, enrollment in ASU’s health care and health promotion graduate and doctoral programs has reached record levels at more than 400. And Sanford-Brown College, which provides education in allied health care and related fields designed to prepare its graduates for related employment opportunities, just launched its first campus in the Western United States in Phoenix due to the continuing opportunities for health care graduates.

“When we launched our Phoenix campus in October 2009 with our medical assistant and pharmacy technician programs, the response was overwhelmingly positive,” says George F. Fitzpatrick, president of Sanford-Brown’s Phoenix campus. “In fact, we quickly knew there would be a need for associate programs, as well as Spanish-language offerings, to better arm our growing student population and to better serve the community at large.”

In fact, in January, after just a few months in the market, Sanford-Brown expanded its offerings to include a medical assistant program in Spanish, as well as a specialized associate degree program in cardiovascular sonography. Offered during day and night sessions, and completed in as little as 70 weeks, these programs are designed to help those who are still working in other industries or at other full-time positions.

The College of Nursing and Health Innovation at ASU echoes Sanford-Brown’s success and opportunity. With one of the broadest nursing and health curriculums in the nation, the college is seeing record enrollment in multiple career track opportunities.

“We offer nursing, health promotion (i.e., nutrition, exercise and wellness, and health sciences) and interdisciplinary programs, such as the master’s of clinical research management and (master’s) of healthcare innovation, and all are seeing success,” says Linda Mottle, director of the center for Healthcare Innovation & Clinical Trials. “And we are also developing a new tri-university clinical and translational graduate certificate online, a new MS in regulatory science and health safety, and some online continuing education, self-learning modules for community clinical professionals who want to learn how to conduct clinical research in their practices.”

Those already in health care related fields also are finding new opportunities with several programs. Some of the most popular programs offered through ASU include:

Master of Science degree in clinical research management — an online program that prepares graduates to lead complex global clinical research operations at multiple types of employer settings in the rapidly growing clinical research industry.

Master of Legal Studies — a one-year graduate program that can provide health care professionals with interdisciplinary study in law and medicine. By choosing law classes that are of particular interest, an individual can develop substantive knowledge of law, as well as analytical and problem-solving skills necessary to understand both the underlying theory and practical applications of law in the ever-evolving health care industry.

Juris Doctorate — where health care professionals can focus their legal studies on health care. In addition, candidates can pursue simultaneously a joint MD degree through the Mayo Medical School, a Ph.D. in psychology in conjunction with ASU’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, or a master’s in health sector management with the W.P. Carey School of Health Management and Policy.

“We also have a significant number of attorneys who would like to specialize in the emerging field of biotechnology and genomics, so we now offer a Master of Law degree in biotechnology and genomics — the first-ever degree program focused on the growing intersection of law and genetic applications, such as pharmacogenomics and personalized medicine, genetically modified organisms, forensic evidence, gene testing, gene therapy, cloning, stem cells, and behavioral genetics,” says Gary Marchant, executive director and faculty fellow at the Center for Law, Science & Innovation at ASU’s Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law.

The Center for Law, Science & Innovation bridges law and science by fostering the development of legal frameworks for new technologies, and advancing the informed use of science in legal decision-making. The center facilitates transdisciplinary study and dialogue among policy makers, academics, students, professionals and industry.

In addition, the center houses the Public Health Law and Policy Program (PHLPP), which brings together scholars, practitioners and other partners to focus on critical issues concerning law, ethics and public health.

“Profound issues of law and policy arise from the exploration, development and implementation of public health goals and objectives in society,” says James G. Hodge Jr., director of PHLPP.

Topical areas of interest for the program include:

  • Legal preparedness in response to H1N1 and other public health emergencies.
  • Public health implications of national health care reforms.
  • Vaccination laws and policy.
  • Child and adolescent health in schools.
  • National and state obesity laws and policies.
  • Expedited partner therapies in response to sexually transmitted infections.
  • Volunteer health professionals and emergency legal preparedness.
  • Mental and behavioral health legal and ethical preparedness.

www.asu.edu | www.sbphoenix.com

Arizona Business Magazine Jul/Aug 2010

2010 Heath Care Leadership Awards

2010 HCLA – Institution or Education

Honoree: Medical Center Maricopa, Integrated Health System, Residency Training Programs Maricopa

Medical Center Maricopa
Integrated Health System
Residency Training Programs

With physician shortages confronting Arizona and other states, Maricopa Medical Center/Maricopa Integrated Health System, the Valley’s leading teaching facility for physicians, is a key player in addressing those shortages.

Maircopa Medical Center, Integrated Health System Residency Training Programs, 2010 Health Care Leadership Awards

Under the direction of Dr. Michael Grossman, director of academic affairs, the center trains up to 300 physician residents annually. In fact, many hundreds of physicians trained under Grossman’s direction are practicing throughout the United States. With more than 37 years of teaching medical education, Grossman uses that experience to oversee the center’s nine physician residency programs in emergency medicine, internal medicine, obstetrics/gynecology, pediatrics, podiatric medicine & surgery, psychiatry, child psychiatry, radiology and surgery.

Through his guidance, Maricopa Medical Center is ensuring that Arizona will have exceptionally well-trained physicians today and into the future. Grossman has dedicated much of his medical career to training physicians, with a goal of enhancing culturally sensitive patient care, as well as helping new physicians create a patient/physician partnership. In his role as a physician-teacher, Grossman collaborates with several other hospitals across the Valley to assist in evaluating their re-accreditation processes for their resident training programs. In addition, he is a co-investigator of the Arizona Physician Workforce study looking at physician shortages throughout Arizona.

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Finalist:  Cigna Medical Group Chronic Health Improvement Program (CHIP)

Cigna Medical Group Chronic Health Improvement Program (CHIP)

A 14-week curriculum at Phoenix Children’s Hospital (PCH) is helping bridge the gap between school and bedside nursing for new graduate registered nurses.

Cigna Medical Group Chronic Health Improvement Program (CHIP), 2010 Health Care Leadership Awards

Cigna Medical Group’s Chronic Health Improvement Program (CHIP) is designed to care for patients with several chronic conditions. Often, patients with multiple chronic conditions are forced to manage through a confusing medical system that includes several specialists, limited time with medical providers, a variety of medications, and complex treatment plans that overlap or are at odds with each other.

The CHIP team offers a holistic approach to the complex problems faced by patients with chronic health conditions. CHIP, which is overseen by Dr. Robert Flores, director of population health management, manages care across more than 200 physicians, specialists, nurses and medical professionals at Cigna Medical Group. It is believed to be the only program of its kind in the state that is wholly owned and operated, and directly links all care coordinators and medical providers through an electronic health record system with 24/7 access to data.

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Phoenix Children’s Hospital Graduate Advancement Program in Pediatrics (GAPP)

A 14-week curriculum at Phoenix Children’s Hospital (PCH) is helping bridge the gap between school and bedside nursing for new graduate registered nurses. The Graduate Advancement Program in Pediatrics (GAPP), involves classes on pediatric nursing topics, a mentor program and a component in which new graduate registered nurses are paired with experienced PCH nurses for 396 hours of guided clinical experience. Phoenix Children’s Hospital Graduate Advancement Program in Pediatrics (GAPP), 2010 Health Care Leadership Awards

“GAPP encourages new graduate nurses to form bonds with colleagues from around the hospital, share experiences, and support one another,” says Deborah Wesley, PCH’s chief nursing executive and vice president of clinical services. “Our goal at Phoenix Children’s Hospital is to provide consistency and support as nurses make a transition into the role of a pediatric staff nurse.

For nursing graduates, we provide four distinct career tracks: emergency department, general pediatrics, newborn intensive care unit and the pediatric intensive care unit.”

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Nursing Shortage Still Plagues Arizona’s Health Care Industry

Nursing Shortage Still Plagues Arizona’s Health Care Industry

Arizona’s nursing shortage is a very serious problem and it is not going away any time soon. The state is going to need approximately 49,000 new registered nurses by 2017 to keep pace with population growth, RNs retiring and nurses lost to attrition, according to the Arizona RN Shortage: 2007 Results, a report published by the Arizona Healthcare Data Center. The data center was started by the Arizona Hospital and Healthcare Association (AzHHA) in 2007 to study health professions in Arizona.

“I think people are tired of hearing about the nursing shortage,” says Bernadette Melnyk, dean of ASU College of Nursing and Healthcare Innovation. “They don’t understand the adverse effects until they or a family member is hospitalized and they see for themselves the effect it has on the health and safety of people they love.”

Of the approximately 49,000 RNs that will be needed by 2017:

  • 20,000 will be needed to keep pace with the state’s growing population, as well as to close the gap between Arizona’s current average of 681 RNs per 100,000 residents and the U.S. average of 825 RNs per 100,000 residents.
  • 10,000 nurses will be required to replace retiring RNs. More than one-third of Arizona’s current RNs are older than 55 and will retire over the next five to 10 years.
  • 19,000 RNs, or 3.5 percent annually, will be needed to account for the profession’s attrition rate.
  • Twelve of Arizona’s 15 counties also fall below the national average of RNs per 100,000 people, according to the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA). The national average is 3.3 RNs per 100,000 people, and Arizona has 1.9 RNs per 100,000 people. The three counties that exceed the national average — Coconino, Pima and Yavapai — still face shortages of RNs.

    Adda Alexander, RN, MBA, former executive vice president of AzHHA, says Arizona colleges have increased their capacity and are graduating more nurses, but it is not enough. Arizona’s nursing programs need to graduate an additional 2,235 students per year just to keep pace with the state’s population growth.

    To help address the nursing shortage, Arizona hospitals contributed $57 million between 2006 and 2007 to the state’s education programs in the form of tuition reimbursements, loan forgiveness programs and in-kind giving (providing space for nursing education programs, sponsoring faculty salaries and tuition reimbursement). In 2005, the Arizona Legislature passed the Arizona Partnership for Nursing Education (APNE) bill, which provided $20 million over five years to double the capacity of Arizona’s college and university nursing education programs by increasing the number of nurse education faculty. As a result of the APNE funding, the estimated number of additional nursing graduates in 2010 will be 1,242. Alexander said APNE was a crucial step in helping the nursing shortage, but it sunsets in 2010 and the funding stops.

    According to Annual Reports from Nursing Education Programs, 2007, Arizona Board of Nursing, there were 41 vacancies for full-time Arizona nursing faculty in 2006, which was a 13 percent increase from the previous year. In addition, there were 38 vacancies for part-time nursing faculty in 2006, which represented a 600 percent increase in vacancies from 2005.

    The report also indicated that due to the lack of capacity, more than one-third of nursing students are wait-listed each year by Arizona nursing programs even though they have met all course prerequisites.

    Joey Ridnour, executive director of the Arizona State Board of Nursing, contends that the lack of clinical space also contributes heavily to the nursing shortage. Thus, many states are looking at using simulations in combination with clinical experience to teach students.

    “This may be a good combination to consider in the future, but faculty needs to figure out how to maximize it so students get a good education,” Ridnour says. “When I was a student, I would have valued doing some of the procedures through simulation rather than on live patients. It would have given me a better understanding and more confidence.”

    Melnyk believes the state has to hit the nursing shortage from two angles: (1) produce more nurses and (2) help them feel satisfied and empowered in their role. She says between 35 and 60 percent of new graduates leave their positions in the first year due to stress from staffing shortages and patient acuity levels.

    “I think nurses get out in the real world and don’t expect their jobs to be so stressful,” she says. “People in hospitals are very sick and oftentimes what the nurses are expected to juggle is too much for them to handle.”

    Melnyk also thinks nurses and other health care providers should be educated in evidence-based practice (EBP), a problem-solving approach that integrates the best evidence from research studies and combines it with patient preferences and the clinician’s expertise.A number of medical studies show that when nurses, physicians and other health care providers deliver care in an evidence-based manner, the quality of care is substantially better and patient outcomes improved.

    “Studies also show that nurses practicing EBP are more satisfied with their role, feel more empowered and make less medical errors,” Melnyk says. “A lot of people don’t realize that 99,000 patients die annually in the U.S. due to medical errors. That’s a staggering number of patients.”