The University of Toledo College of Nursing and ProMedica announced an expanded partnership to strengthen nursing education and focus on future challenges affecting the healthcare industry.
By 2020, there will be approximately 1.2 million job vacancies for registered nurses, according to the Bureau of Labor statistics. This partnership will allow nursing students to work and train at ProMedica hospitals to address the nationwide nursing shortage.
“It reflects our shared commitment to developing Northwest Ohio into a premier hub of medical education and clinical care,” said Randy Oostra, president and CEO of ProMedica in a press release.
The collaboration will create professional development programs to improve local healthcare and allow students and staff to become more involved in research opportunities.
“It’s a wonderful opportunity for UT College of Nursing and ProMedica,” said Dr. Linda Lewandowski, dean of the University of Toledo College of Nursing. “We’ve had a partnership for a long time, but this really ups the ante in terms of the strength of our partnership.”
The partnership formalizes UT College of Nursing as first priority in terms of clinical placements for UT students.
“With us being their prime partner, we will now strongly have more priority over other schools of nursing who want to use their facilities,” Lewandowski said.
Students will be major beneficiaries of the expansion.
“I believe that it enhances our university because it expands connections that kids are able to make and it could offer new opportunities that kids may not have gotten before,” said Josh Smith, third-year nursing student at UT College of Nursing.
“I feel like this partnership will help Toledo's nursing program in the sense that it is expanding the amount of kids that can study nursing. I also think it helps in giving kids a more advanced clinical experience which will help when they become licensed nurses,” Smith said.
In a statement coinciding with the collaboration, Dr. Sharon L. Gaber, president of The University of Toledo announced the College of Medicine and Life Sciences commitment of $1 million to collaborative research between the two schools, further emphasizing the importance UT places on research.
“President Gaber has been very supportive of this partnership. She’s made sure that we also have resources to pull off these exciting collaborative opportunities,” Lewandowski said.
The research performed by both parties will be beneficial toward solving clinical problems present in the local healthcare system.
“There’s a lot of collaborative research and evidence-based-practice scholarly projects that I’m very excited about because it provides for our students a real-world learning experience that’s very meaningful and can make a difference,” said Lewandowski.
Nursing students at UT have already begun to see the effects of the partnership.
“Everyone that I have talked to regarding the growing partnership are for it because they see a lot of the potential that can come from it and how students will benefit from it,” Smith said.
UT and ProMedica have worked together in the past.
The nursing partnership is an expansion of an agreement previously made in May 2015 between ProMedica and UT College of Medicine and Life Sciences.
The ProMedica and UTCOM pact was centered around ProMedica’s $250 million capital investment into new college facilities. In addition, ProMedica assisted the college with teaching and research, while UTCOM began transitioning UT residents to ProMedica facilities.
Lewandowski hopes the nursing partnership will reap the same benefits as the medical partnership.
“We’re in conversations to identify clinical problems in our systems, and we’ll be incorporating them into our classes this fall. We already have a lot of students who are in ProMedica placements. We’re already making this program come alive,” Lewandowski said.
She called it an opportunity for students to grow, work and make a difference in a more meaningful way.
“Being in a clinical partnership with an entity like ProMedica provides the opportunity to learn in interdisciplinary teams, and that’s going to prepare students to make even more of a difference in the world.”
“This partnership is a real win-win. We both bring very strong resources to the table and working together is going to be real exciting,”Lewandowski said.