Collaboration at Best

Monday, 7 July 2008
Ann Hart, MSN , CaroMont Health, Gaston Memorial Hospital, Gastonia, NC

Learning Objective 1: To provide the participant with a model of collaboration as an alternatives to increase enrollment through community partnership.

Learning Objective 2: To provide the participant with alternatives to faculty serving as clinical nursing instructors for students, based on declining faculty.

One barrier to expanding nursing education programs is limited faculty and limited clinical sites for clinical experiences. CaroMont Health and the University of North Carolina At Charlotte created an innovative partnership with the called the “CUSP” program to overcome this barrier.. A clinical facilitator totally funded by CaroMont Healthcare was hired and additional student nurses were admitted to the UNCC nursing program, to receive their clinical experiences at CaroMont Health. The clinical facilitator is an adjunct nursing faculty member of the UNC Charlotte SON and the facilitator/coordinator for CUSP clinical rotations at CaroMont Health.

CaroMont Health provides students with an exclusive 2 years of clinical experience. Over the course of these two clinical years, CUSP students are assigned to clinically proficient RNs in each unit. A total of 35 BSN Students have successfully completed these clinical rotations. NCLEX pass rates for these students have been 97.14%. The employment rate for new graduate CUSP students at CaroMont Health is 45.94%.

Collaborative relationships such as CUSP suggest that involving a clinical facilitator can strengthen university clinical programs. This local partnership also brings a higher level of recognition and appreciation for expert clinical teaching. The CUSP program helps students feel connected with the health care team, and feel important and appreciated during their clinical education. Consequently these students learn faster, have higher levels of skills and self esteem, and are expected to bee more successful and stay actively engaged in the nursing profession for a longer period of time.