Three Decades of Higher Education Excellence Through Collaboration
The healthcare worker shortage is a significant challenge in the Chicago Southland. Not only is there a dire need for trained professionals, but a shortage of qualified trainers also exists. To address the shortage, SMHEC works with a strong core of community college and baccalaureate healthcare deans, local healthcare providers as well as the Workforce Boards of Metropolitan Chicago and hospital associations to implement identified best practices.
Standardized Clinical Affiliation Agreement
SMHEC spearheaded the development and execution of the Standard Clinical Affiliation Agreement, a standardized contract between health care sites and colleges to facilitate student clinical rotations. The Agreement significantly decreases the human resource effort on the part of the clinical sites and the colleges to review and approve the contracts, thereby decreasing the time needed to place students in clinical experiences.
In 2009, SMHEC worked with its local hospitals, the Illinois Center for Nursing and DCEO to present Illinois’ inaugural Clinical Faculty Academy. The academy is one of the strategies to increase the number of clinical nursing faculty. Each year since, prior to the start of the fall semester, we deliver the academy to provide masters prepared registered nurses, interested in teaching, the theory and tools to provide best-of-class training to their healthcare students.
The Allied Health Preceptor Academy is a training program for Allied Health professionals who have either committed to serve as clinical instructors/preceptors for schools in the south suburban Chicago area or are interested in learning more about teaching in the clinical environment. The goal of the academy is to develop qualified Allied Health professionals for the role of clinical educators in order to prepare students to enter the workforce and sustain and expand enrollments in Allied Health programs. Participating instructors will learn the basic knowledge and skills essential for success in a Clinical Instructor/Preceptor role and develop stronger connections between clinical practice sites and academic environments.
The Advanced Faculty Academy was developed by a Governors State University DNP student as her capstone experience and targets experienced nursing faculty. Presenters for this one day academy are selected from member schools nursing faculty.
The Simulation Academy, offered in 2012 and supported by the Laerdal Company, provided theory and hands-on training for the use of human simulators to help both new and experienced faculty understand the value and role of simulation in nursing education.
RESULTS: To date, over 500 healthcare professionals from throughout Illinois have attended our academies and are supplying our colleges and hospitals with much-needed clinical faculty. As a result, most programs are fully staffed and those with plans to expand their programs were able to do so.