Rhode Island First Statewide Nurse Residency Program Launched
For Immediate Release For Further Information: Dave Lavallee 401-874-5862 PROVIDENCE, R.I. – April 3, 2013 – The Rhode Island Action Coalition for the Future of Nursing, along with numerous public and private sector partners, today launched a more than $600,000 statewide clinical nurse residency and mentoring program to provide participating nurses with additional skills and experience. Unemployed and underemployed nurses and new graduates from the state’s nursing programs will be eligible to enroll in the groundbreaking program. Rhode Island joins Connecticut as one of only two New England states and 20 nationally to receive funding from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Future of Nursing State Implementation Program, which supports The Future of Nursing: Campaign for Action, a $3 million joint initiative with the AARP. The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) is committed to providing states, through their Action Coalitions, with the support they need to build a more highly educated, diverse nursing workforce that will improve health outcomes for patients, families and communities. The funding is also designed to help the nursing profession address the nation’s most pressing health care challenges—access, quality and cost. Rhode Island’s residency program is unusual in the United States, say state leaders, as most residency programs are affiliated with specific hospitals or agencies. The Rhode Island project will place graduates of the state’s nursing programs in practice settings ranging from nursing homes to community clinics, as well as traditional hospital settings across the state. Each nurse accepted into the program will receive a stipend and will practice at three different sites during a residency period lasting up to nine months. Backed by a $150,000 RWJF grant, the coalition also received critical support from a $247,363 Governor’s Workforce Board Partnership Grant to Stepping Up, a health care industry partner of the workforce board. Lynne Dunphy, professor and interim associate nursing dean at URI and co-leader of the state’s action coalition, and the URI Foundation successfully raised additional funds from the Rhode Island Foundation, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Rhode Island and the Routhier Foundation. Other contributors included Rhode Island Center for Nursing Excellence (URI center), Rhode Island State Nurses Association, Rhode Island Nursing Institute, Lifespan, and Care New England. Each of the state’s nursing programs also contributed to the initiative. Officials from the University of Rhode Island, Governor’s Workforce Board, the Rhode Island Foundation, Routhier Foundation, URI Foundation, Blue Cross Blue Shield Rhode Island, Care New England, the Rhode Island State Nurses Association, and the nursing programs at the University of Rhode Island, Rhode Island College, the Community College of Rhode Island, Salve Regina University and St. Joseph’s Hospital announced the innovative collaboration at the Rhode Island Foundation headquarters this morning. Graduates of the five nursing programs (URI, RIC, CCRI, Salve Regina, and St. Joseph’s) will have a vehicle to enhance their practice skills so they can apply for positions that are in demand in Rhode Island. The program will begin recruiting in June and have its first residency placements by late August-early September. It is expected to accept 20 students in the first year and 40 students in the second year. "In Rhode Island, health care is an important industry sector, and nursing is projected to be an in-demand occupation over the coming years,” said Governor Lincoln D. Chafee. “Initiatives such as the nurse residency project should help us better prepare our workforce for high-growth economic opportunities in our state." Coalition members include most hospitals and their chief nursing officers, including the Veterans Affairs Hospital of Providence, the Rhode Island Department of Health, the Rhode Island Board of Nurse Registration and Nurse Education, the Hospital Association of Rhode Island and the AARP of Rhode Island. “Nurses play a vital role in the delivery of high-quality health care in hospitals, long-term care settings, and community health centers,” said URI President David M. Dooley. “URI is committed to working with a wide array of partners, as evidenced here, to ensure Rhode Island's nursing students and professionals have access to the best educators, tools, and resources. Working together, this venture will assist statewide efforts to make high-quality health care accessible and affordable for Rhode Islanders.” "Rhode Island College and its School of Nursing looks forward to working collaboratively with our partners in this initiative, which will provide an enhanced level of education and mentoring for our graduating nurses, “ said Nancy Carriuolo, president of Rhode Island College. “This new clinical nurse residency and mentoring program will also increase the opportunities available to our new and recent graduates, while also helping to improve the overall quality of care at health care facilities throughout Rhode Island." “As Rhode Island and the rest of the nation begin to implement health care reform, there will be an emphasis on the continuum of care, which places tremendous importance on primary care, community care and long-term care,” said Dunphy, who also holds the Routhier Chair of Practice at URI. “We are going to be able to provide even more advanced training for our new nurses, individuals who possess fresh ideas and the latest in nursing practice education to improve health care in all venues, including visiting nurse programs, community health clinics, assisted living and long-term care facilities and hospitals.” In addition to Dunphy and Jay Spitulnik, organizational consultant for the Lifespan Learning Institute, the Action Coalition is also led by Donna Policastro, executive director of the Rhode Island State Nurses Association; Michael Paruta, director of Workforce Development for Care New England; and Sandra S. Phillips, director of education at Kent Hospital.
|by Nefertari Carver | April 3, 2013|