Quinnipiac enters groundbreaking partnership to remedy nursing shortage

Accelerated second-degree nursing program enrollment to increase by 25%

Quinnipiac’s School of Nursing is entering a groundbreaking partnership with Yale New Haven Health and three universities throughout Connecticut to help remedy the statewide nursing shortage.

The innovative partnership with Fairfield University, Gateway Community College and Southern Connecticut State University will help more qualified nursing student candidates become enrolled and subsequently employed.

The partnership promises to graduate at least 557 additional nurses over the course of the next four years, in addition to those already enrolled. Yale New Haven Health is committing about $1.7 million over the next four years to the collaboration to provide scholarships and books to students who otherwise wouldn't be able to attend school. 

“The Quinnipiac School of Nursing is grateful for the collaboration with the Yale New Haven Health System,” said Lisa O’Connor, EdD, MSN, RN, dean of the School of Nursing. “Quinnipiac’s history with Yale is strong and dates back decades.”

This August, Quinnipiac will increase its accelerated second-degree nursing program enrollment by 25%, O’Connor said.

“Accelerated nursing graduates are highly sought after by employers,” she said. “They are adult learners who have a strong work ethic, and who bring diversity in thought, in background and in gender, race and ethnicity. They complement our school and the nursing workforce on many levels.”

However, increasing nursing school enrollment comes with challenges, O’Connor warned — including the availability of clinical sites for students to do their hands-on clinical education, as well as the marked nurse educator workforce shortage that is prevalent across the country and in Connecticut.

“This agreement addresses these challenges head on,” O’Connor said, who praised Beth Beckman, chief nursing office at Yale New Haven Health — as well as her colleagues across the state.

“Beth Beckman’s leadership and the commitment and focus her team has shown on workforce development with a special emphasis on increasing diversity aligns well with the strategic mission and vision of Quinnipiac University and the School of Nursing,” O’Connor said. “We are excited to work with our fellow colleagues at Yale New Haven, Fairfield, Gateway and Southern. Through this innovative partnership, we will be enhancing what is already a highly valued relationship with Yale New Haven Health. Together, we will be developing an even stronger nursing workforce that is well-prepared for its transition to professional nursing practice.”

The partnership will promote:
- Recruitment and preferential hiring of qualified nurse educators from the Yale system to pair with us and educate these students
- Recruitment and a smooth pathway for Yale employees who are interested in becoming nurses
- Consistent clinical education for the entire duration of the students’ accelerated program whereby all for their clinical learnings will be held within the Yale New Haven Health System
- A smooth pathway for students to experience more deeply the Yale Health community and onboard to their entry-level nursing job in a seamless manner

“Yale has committed to significant financial contributions to the School of Nursing — including stipends for lab supplies, financial support for multiple full-time faculty and most importantly, scholarships for students to assist them with tuition support and educational materials, making nursing school a reality where perhaps before, it wasn’t a possibility,” she said. “This partnership with Yale is mutually beneficial. It is comprehensive and it is generous.”

She said each of the schools’ partnership agreements are unique and personalized to each school and to their respective students.

“We have one very strong common bond,” she said. “I am sure my colleagues here from Fairfield, Southern and Gateway will agree: We share a bond with each other as nursing schools, and with Yale, specifically, with Beth Beckman and her nursing team and our shared commitment to increasing our nursing enrollments and diversity, and to better support and educate the high quality students who will become our next generation of care providers.”

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