Funded by Fairfield University Marion Peckham Egan School of Nursing & Health Studies
Choosing the Right Path for You
Congratulations on considering a graduate education! There are many options and choices for nurses when making this choice. To invest your time and money wisely, please consider the following questions/information when evaluating your options. This informational brochure was created by the Connecticut League for Nursing’s Council of Deans & Directors and the Connecticut Healthcare Educators Group to provide nurses with the best support to succeed.
QUESTIONS TO CONSIDER WHEN RETURNING TO SCHOOL
Recommendation: A strong clinical foundation supports a diverse and successful nursing career. Nurses may want to practice 1-2 years before entering a graduate school program.
Recommendation: Ask a nurse leader for input concerning your readiness for a graduate education.
QUESTIONS ABOUT CHOOSING A PROGRAM
QUESTIONS ABOUT RETURNING TO SCHOOL
The following questions are specific to this topic and very important!
Recommendation: Nurse Practitioner placements are extremely competitive in Connecticut, so it is very important to thoroughly investigate this area.
Recommendation: Reach out to graduates of the school to discuss placement details as they can offer different insights than recruiters.
Recommendation: Validate and verify the school has regional and national accreditation.
Recommendation: Check the CT Nursing Guide for program and accreditation details by visiting CTNursingGuide.com.
What is the price per credit?
How many classes are required per semester/term?
How long are terms/semesters?
What financial support is available from the school or other sources?
Are there technology requirements such as hardware (computer specifications) or software requirements?
What other costs are involved and how often do they need to be paid such as lab fees, e-book fees, technology fees, instate or out of state fees?
What is your organization’s tuition support policy?
Recommendation: Talk to current students to gather as much financial information as possible.
Recommendation: Review the financial details of the program carefully and calculate costs. Sometimes a school with a higher per credit price may not cost more than other schools.
Recommendation: Meet with Human Resources to discuss tuition support, available discounts, reimbursement schedules, associated work commitments, etc. (if your employer requires a work commitment, does your employer have opportunities for you to practice in this new role?)
National Policy Brief: U.S. Nursing Leadership Supports Practice/Academic & Partnerships to Assist the Nursing Workforce during the COVID-19 Crisis
The Connecticut League for Nursing’s Council of Deans & Directors Supports that National Policy Brief and Highlights below how our Colleges and Universities can Partner with Practice Settings to Support a Robust and Safe Nursing Workforce during the COVID-9 Crisis and Aftermath.
This policy brief is a collaborative effort of nursing leaders who propose & support academic/practice
partnerships between health care facilities and pre-licensure registered nursing (RN) and practical/vocational nursing (PN/VN) programs across the country during the COVID-19 crisis. This is one potential model to consider. It is not mandated, rather an innovative approach to meeting academic and workforce needs.
The proposed model requires cautious evaluation at the local level with a clear understanding that:
Pre-licensure RN students from diploma, associate degree and baccalaureate degree nursing programs and PN/VN students from certificate nursing programs could augment and support nursing services in health care facilities.
Propose that our pre-licensure nursing students and associated faculty from our Schools/Programs of Nursing augment the nursing workforce within healthcare facilities in the following areas:
Nursing students would be employed by the facility on a full- or part-time basis and work in the role of a student nurse for compensation and, in conjunction with the student’s nursing education program, would receive academic credit toward meeting clinical requirements.
Connecticut practice settings would dictate the employment relationship directly with the pre-licensure student, and the awarding of academic credit for such experiences (Capstone’s) would be decided upon by each academic institution in alignment with current University/College policies and practices.
Moreover, NOT all students may choose to engage in these academic/employment opportunities as their participation is NOT mandatory.
This opportunity will not only provide much needed clinical education to assist in meeting program requirements, it is an unparalleled opportunity for nursing students to assist the nation in a time of crisis and learn the principles of population health and emergency management. This academic-practice model demonstrates that in the midst of a periling disruption in the environment, such as COVID-19, continuous innovation can occur.
1. Health care facilities and nursing programs are encouraged to promulgate plans to take advantage of this opportunity and make every effort to reach out to eligible nursing students and inform them of the opportunity.
Practice Setting will share opportunities with the CT Nurses’ Association, CT Center for Nursing Workforce & CT League for Nursing- RN Student Day Attendees if registered directly with CLN, CT Center for Nursing Workforce to promote; and via their organization’s website, social media, and other communication platforms.
2. Health care facilities and nursing programs are encouraged to collaborate to identify ways to accomplish appropriate faculty supervision of the nursing student-employee to achieve the final learning outcomes of the nursing program. For example,
Options for Engagement & Collaboration:
The above examples illustrate a few ways in which the Connecticut School & Programs of Nursing can support growth and development of the incumbent:
3. Nursing program leaders/faculty are encouraged to work with health care facility representatives to align clinical skills and competencies with the nursing student-employee work role/responsibilities.
CT’s Schools and Programs of Nursing utilize the Massachusetts Nurse of the Future Core Competencies (MA DOE, 2016) in their curriculum design as well as other best-practice competency models including QSEN.
4. Nursing student-employees must have planned clinical practice experiences that enable the students to attain new knowledge and demonstrate achievement of the final learning outcomes of the nursing program.
The Schools and Programs of Nursing have compiled best-practices, virtual experiences, and simulation that have been distributed to all faculty to ensure that program objectives and outcomes will be met at the end of the final year of study and program completion. As Simulation is an everchanging modality for nursing education, it is imperative that Connecticut Colleges/Universities have the needed resources to ensure program excellence. Through the Healthcare Simulation Network of CT (HSNCT) supported by the Connecticut League for Nursing, leaders of the Simulation Centers can best identify and recommend the critical resources for a robust Simulated Learning experiences that will meet program outcomes at all level.
5. Nursing programs should consult with their State Board of Nursing to ensure clinical requirement regulations would be met with this opportunity and experience.
Through the Council of Deans & Directors, the CT SBEN approved a motion during the March 18, 2020 Nursing Board meeting to approve the use of alternative clinical experiences for nursing students of advanced standing.
6. Nursing programs are responsible for informing nursing students of the risks and responsibilities associated with working in a healthcare facility at this time. Additionally, nursing programs are responsible for communicating with students about their rights to be protected from infection and their options for completing the clinical practice requirements of the nursing program.
Schools and Program of Nursing will not be soliciting students directly to participate in these voluntary work experiences.
Endorsement by National Nursing Organizations and Associations:
Planned activities for 2020-2021
The CCNW is positioned to spearhead a statewide Healthcare Workforce Demand Initiative to secure workforce data from all Connecticut practice settings, this includes:
AACN Video from Essentials Leadership Team- Framework and Conceptual Model. Don't miss the upcoming 2020 Nurse Faculty Meetings to learn more!
Statewide Nursing & Healthcare Workforce Summit – Collective Impact is scheduled for June 18, 2019 from 12:45 pm to 4:45 pm at the Aqua Turf Club in Plantsville, CT.
A robust and sustainable nursing and healthcare workforce in Connecticut is critical to ensure that our state can provide care to our residents. This Summit will showcase proven and successful strategies that Connecticut must undertake to foster alignment of the “Supply and Demand” of key healthcare roles essential to providing safe and quality care.
Connecticut data will be shared from CLN’s Statewide Nursing & Healthcare Demand Workforce Study that was conducted this past Spring. Each attendee will receive an Executive Briefing of the survey findings as part of the registration fee! The Executive Briefing will include aggregated data from practice setting participants and illustrate “High Demand” roles depicted by region, healthcare setting and zip code.
Featured Speakers include:
Enhancing the Healthcare Workforce in Connecticut
Enhancing the Nursing Workforce In Connecticut