After a stay in the hospital, the trip home is welcome. But for patients healing from an injury,...
Helping build the nursing workforce of tomorrow
The pool of qualified healthcare workers is shrinking. During the pandemic, nearly 20 percent quit their jobs, and as soon as 2025, the healthcare system could experience a shortage of between 200,000 and 450,000 nurses. This represents a shortage of between 10 and 20 percent of the nurses needed to care for all the patients in the system. These shortfalls, coupled with the growing aging population and increases in chronic disease, only add to the problem.
Yet the Visiting Nurse Association of Ohio continues to deliver quality healthcare services in the place where people feel most comfortable: their homes. And they are working to train the nurses of the future to do so as well.
Rachel Iancu, clinical education manager, coordinates the VNAO’s nurse preceptor program, matching up nursing students seeking to fulfill their community health clinical training with registered nurses.
Iancu explained that it can be challenging for nursing students to find qualified preceptors to accommodate the required training hours they need in each major medical specialty. What’s more, plans with original assignments can fall through due to miscommunication or staffing shortages. VNAO is known as a reliable “go to” for students that rarely turns down a request. The organization receives no financial incentives for precepting these students. It is done out of dedication to supporting the next generation of nurses. And VNAO’s nurse preceptors always strive to take on additional students when asked. They have recently worked with students from Case Western Reserve University, Cuyahoga Community College, and Ursuline College.
“VNAO receives no financial incentives for precepting these students. It is done out of dedication to supporting the next generation of nurses. And VNAO’s nurse preceptors always strive to take on additional students when asked.”
Ursuline nursing student Genna Harshbarger said training with the VNA nurse was an “eye-opener.” She said that the opportunity to hear the patients’ stories and family dynamics really helps put their care needs into context.
“We observe first-hand any additional family stresses, social determinants of health, and we hear patients’ stories and personal family perspectives,” she said.
In spite of the challenges facing today’s nursing profession, Iancu sees a positive future for her students. She says most are drawn to the positive aspects of the job, like above average pay, flexibility, ability to work in different environments, and, of course, the fulfillment of making a positive difference in people’s lives.
“My grandpa passed in 2019, and I helped a lot with his care,” added nursing student Harshbarger. “He is my inspiration and my true passion for nursing.”
To learn more about in-home hospice care call 216-931-1300 or contact VNA Ohio.