TENCO and Eastern Kentucky Concentrated Employment Program partners with St. Claire Regional Medical Center and Morehead State for Incumbent Worker Project
The TENCO Workforce Development Board obligated $183,453 to support an incumbent worker project with St. Claire Regional Medical Center. Incumbent worker projects are designed to assist businesses by averting layoff and/or making the business more competitive in the region by providing a higher skill level of employees. Data published from the Institute of Medicine and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation indicated a strong need for medical institutions to increase the skill of their nursing staff to BSN level. St. Claire established a goal of having 80% of their nursing staff with BSN degrees by 2020.
Past studies identified multiple advantages to having a higher skilled nursing staff, including:
- Lowering the odds of patient mortality
- Lower readmission rates
- Shorter lengths of hospital stay
According to studies, there is a relationship between higher skilled (BSN) nursing staff and patient outcomes. The Tri-Council for Nursing issued a statement in 2010 that “without a more educated nursing workforce, the nation’s health will b e further at risk.”
A report in the Journal of Nursing Administration “Achieving 80% BSN by 2020: Lessons Learned from Kentucky’s Registered Nurses” identified obstacles facing current healthcare professionals in achieving this career pathway goal, including:
- Financial, Family/Obligations
- Lack of Perceived Benefit
TENCO and Eastern Kentucky Concentrated Employment Program workforce areas partnered with St. Claire and Morehead State University to ensure the nursing staff had the opportunity to move easily through the career pathway by eliminating the main obstacles employees face when working toward this goal. Both workforce areas committed funds to assist St. Claire in meeting the costs associated with training, which resulted in employees being trained with no out-of-pocket expense. MSU reviewed and revised their current BSN program to better meet the business and employee’s needs. The individualized and accelerated training curriculum resulted in a hybrid of classroom, online, on-site, and credit for prior learning. This hybrid program allows employees to maintain their employment, their family obligations, and successfully complete the BSN.
Through a regional partnership between business, education, and two workforce areas, approximately 40 employees of St. Claire Regional Medical Center are able to receive a free, well-diversified and high –quality advanced education, while St. Claire gets closer to meeting their goal, and the community receives well-trained, highly skilled nursing care from their local hospital and clinics.