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|Althea Mighten and Edward Creasy|
|NYU Langone Medical Center, USA|
|Posters & Accepted Abstracts: J Nurs Care|
|There is a current shortage of perioperative nurses and the problem is intensifying as nurses in this specialty area prepare to retire over the next five years. To further compound the problem, nursing schools have consistently minimized or eliminated in-depth perioperative nursing content in their curricula and clinical observational rotations to the perioperative units. The resultant impact of these practices include: (1) lack of knowledge and interest about perioperative nursing and (2) escalating costs ($80,000.00 to over $100,000.00) associated with recruiting, educating and training a nurse for a position in perioperative services. With the increase in surgical procedures (both in hospitals and ambulatory surgical centers) and the projection that 20% of the current 160,000 perioperative nurses will retire over the next five years, the gap between the demand and the supply for perioperative nurses intensifies. Perioperative nurses are older and more experienced than those found in other sectors of the nursing workforce. A profound departure of these nurses poses a threat to patient safety because decades of experience, knowledge and skills would be lost. In preparation for this anticipated crisis, our facility partnered with a local college of nursing to establish a two-week Perioperative Immersion Program which included both didactic and clinical experiences with a focused preceptorship. The first cohort of perioperative interns (nursing students) entered the innovative program in January of 2015. Twelve baccalaureate students met the program’s rigorous criteria and were assigned to either the north or south campus of the organization. The purpose of the program is twofold: (1) to increase graduating students’ interest in perioperative nursing; (2) recruit at least 25% into the perioperative training program. All 12 students successfully completed the program. Feedback indicates positive experiences and comprehensive understanding of the complexities of perioperative nursing. In addition, more than 60% of the students verbalized an interest in perioperative nursing; 50% applied to the perioperative/operating room training program and two students were hired. Although the students completed a three credit perioperative elective course, it is essential to create a mechanism for skills development and application in the perioperative setting. It is therefore essential for both academic and practice settings to work collaboratively to create robust learning opportunities that will facilitate a smooth transition for students to the perioperative clinical setting. This can be accomplished through an interprofessional partnership that is mission driven and strategically focused. Innovative programs such as this immersion program can provide a venue for recruitable candidates thereby reducing the cost associated with recruitment activities (such as advertisement and search agencies) and orientation/training. This immersion program provides a useful and practical framework that can be applied to other organizations faced with recruitment and training challenges in the perioperative environment. Learning Objectives: 1. Discuss three major challenges in preparing the future generation of perioperative nurses; 2. Examine future trends and projections for the didactic and clinical education of the next generation of perioperative nurses; 3. Implement a strategic plan for the development, operation and evaluation of a perioperative immersion program using an academic/clinical partnership model.|
Althea Mighten holds a Doctorate in Education from NOVA Southeastern University and a Doctorate of Nursing Practice from New York University. Her clinical background incorporates medical/surgical, emergency medicine, orthopedic and psychiatric mental health nursing. She has served as faculty at Medgar Evers College/School of Nursing (Brooklyn) and at SUNY Downstate College of Nursing (Brooklyn). She is currently in the role of Director of Nursing Education/ Recruitment and Coordinator for Professional Practice in Nursing. Her additional expertise lies in the areas of adult learning, professional practice, evidence-based practice and quality improvement.
Email: [email protected]
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