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Martha Jefferson Healthwise: Nurses Going Back to School

August 23, 2012

Not only is it back to school for many area grade-school students, nearly two dozen Charlottesville nurses are also heading back to the classroom. In this week's Martha Jefferson Healthwise report, there is a new push to have more Martha Jefferson nurses enrolling in college.

20 Martha Jefferson Hospital nurses will soon become students. Vice President Chief Nurse executive Amelia Black says in addition to their time in the hospital assisting patients, they'll also be going to college.

“We are really on a journey of helping our nurses with their 2 year degrees to go back and get their 4 year degrees which is their bachelors in nursing,” said Amelia Black, Martha Jefferson Hospital.

According to a recent Institute of Medicine report, having training in various areas will improve patient outcomes and reduce patient mortality.

“So, the hospital benefits by having a workforce that has that advanced education,” said Black.

The education includes many different courses.

“Some of what they learn is in the bachelor's degree is leadership skills, care coordination, they look at how patients go back in their community and how they can maintain their health in the environment in which they live,” said Black.

The hospital is helping to foot the bill.

“The hospital did not want finances to be a barrier for our nurses returning to school so we actually through the generous support of our community have been able to offer any nurse that wants to go back to school a scholarship,” said Black.

With a little help Martha Jefferson is hoping to get 80 percent of their nurses to have their bachelor's degree by 2020.

The hospital is hoping to lead by example. Nurse Black will also be going back to school to advance her nursing education.

Most students will be attending the University of Virginia, Old Dominion University and other on-line programs.


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