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Published on October 26, 2016

Teaming up to train the nurses of the futureTeaming up to train the nurses of the future

A $1 million grant from Cape Cod Healthcare will boost educational opportunities for local students who want to become nurses.

Cape Cod Healthcare is partnering with Cape Cod Community College to expand training programs for nursing students. The grant will support the expansion and renovation of classroom and clinical training facilities at the West Barnstable school.

“This is an exciting opportunity to train people right from the very beginning, in concert with the community college,” said Michael K. Lauf, President and CEO of Cape Cod Healthcare. “It will pay dividends for years to come, most importantly for our patients.”

Lauf made the announcement at a press conference at Cape Cod Hospital on Tuesday, speaking to members of the boards of trustees of Cape Cod Healthcare and the college, as well as more than a dozen members of the nursing staff and members of the college’s nursing program faculty.

“This in an investment to support healthcare on Cape Cod, but it’s also a commitment to a brighter future for many of our students in the nursing program,” said Cape Cod Community College President John Cox, Ed.D.

More Students Can Train For Well-Paying Jobs

Nursing students at the college get an RN associate degree and can continue at the campus to get a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) through a dual admissions program with UMass Boston. As part of the new partnership, RNs will be able to work for Cape Cod Healthcare as Novice Nurses while they are studying to earn their BSN degree.

The grant will enable the college to expand its number of nursing graduates by 50 percent, up to an additional 32 students per year, starting in the fall of 2017, according to Cox.

“We have an excited faculty that’s ready for this investment in their life’s work, and we have a turbo-charged set of nursing students ready to go,” he said.

Lauf said the expanded training program will help Cape Cod Healthcare fill up to 70 new nursing positions, paying $50,000 or more, every year.

“When you make it through this rigorous program, you’re going to have a job waiting for you in one of our many different sectors,” he said. “When people have rewarding careers that pay a living wage, they are healthier in every way.”

Upgrades to College Faculty and Buildings

Recruitment of nurses can be challenging, he added, and the enhancement of the nursing program at 4Cs will help CCHC fill nursing positions, while enabling residents to study, work and live close to home.

“RNs are needed across the system. It used to be just in the hospitals. Now we need them in doctors’ offices, in clinics, the VNA of Cape Cod, along with long-term care and our rehabilitative facilities. This program will allow us to continue to thrive as an independent healthcare system,” Lauf said.

Enhancements to the college’s nursing program will include:

  • The creation of two new full-time faculty positions and a new director of the nursing program, to expand teaching and operational expertise needed for the increase in student numbers.
  • More than double the teaching space and further modernizations of the hands-on teaching laboratory that serves nursing and all other health career programs.

Cape Cod Healthcare nurses and administrators eventually will join members of the community college nursing staff as members of the faculty.

“We will be a partner, not only financially, but clinically and educationally,” said Lauf.