GSU, Grady Hospital join forces to combat nursing shortage

Program lets nursing students do their clinicals at the hospital

Credit: WSBTV Videos

Grady facing critical nurse shortage, requests emergency funding

Two words have been linked since even before the pandemic: “nursing” and “shortage.” With nonstop COVID-19 patients leading to longer shifts, fewer breaks and a higher risk of contamination, some nurses have left the profession.

Now, Grady Hospital has teamed up with Georgia State University‘s Byrdine F. Lewis College of Nursing and Health Professions to refill those ranks.

The two organizations announced via a press release Thursday that they “will expand the nursing education pipeline and strengthen nursing recruitment at Grady. The partnership enables a greater number of qualified students to fulfill their educational and career aspirations and addresses the critical nursing shortage” at the hospital.

This new education program was made possible by a $23.6 million commitment of the Robert W. Woodruff Foundation.

“We are grateful for the Woodruff Foundation’s remarkable support and thrilled to partner with Georgia State to prepare nurses who will thrive in today’s healthcare workforce,” said John Haupert, president and CEO, Grady Health System. “Grady will draw on our expertise as the state’s top teaching hospital to create a leading-edge clinical training experience for student nurses, helping us better attract dedicated professionals who will serve on the front line of care for this community.”

So, what does all this mean?

With this partnership, Grady will become the primary training site for nursing students in their last two years of school and ready to do their clinicals.

The student nurses will get to experience the hospital’s specialized programs, benefiting from hands-on instruction and mentoring, as well as cutting edge simulations.

Grady said it will hire more faculty and create a scholarship program for students who commit to working at the hospital.

“This partnership with Grady strongly supports two of the most impactful aspects of our university – student success and college to careers,” said M. Brian Blake, Ph.D., president of Georgia State University. “Nurses are critical to our overall well-being and this partnership ensures the success of Georgia State nursing students and guarantees a place to begin their careers.”

In addition, Grady plans to set up a nurse residency program for new graduates, plus a best practice professional development program for any nurse to build her skills and get leadership training.

“The Woodruff gift is a game changer for undergraduate nursing education,” Huanbiao Mo, dean of the Byrdine F. Lewis College of Nursing and Health Professions, said in the press release. “I also want to thank the Grady leadership and our nursing faculty who made this partnership possible.”

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