Nurses and nursing leaders at CVPH understand that life-long learning is a vital part of providing excellent care. Nursing team members who earn certifications, which come from targeted exams that incorporate the latest clinical practices, join many other exceptional colleagues in demonstrating specialized knowledge and a deep commitment to taking care of our patients and our community. In fact, some of our nurses have helped change hospital policies because of what they learned while working toward a certification. Achieving a certification also empowers nurses and nursing leaders with pride and professional satisfaction.
CVPH has an organizational goal to increase the percentage of RNs with a professional certification by 2% over two years, with a baseline in 2016 of 26.3%. Learning & Development offers a number of certification preparation programs and can provide information related to on-site certification review courses in a variety of nursing specialties. The availability of the programs is central to caring for our patients because it gives us all an opportunity to improve lives by expanding knowledge in a specialty. There are also scholarships available to help pursue certifications, as well as monetary incentives for those who maintain the certifications.
CVPH encourages and supports RNs commitment to life long learning and pursuing Baccalaureate Degrees in Nursing (BSN) or higher. After review of national benchmarks CVPH created an organizational goal to increase the percentage of RNs with a BSN or higher degree by 2% over two years, with a baseline in 2016 of 31.2%. CVPH offers a variety of strategies and support to achieve the target organizational goal.
Tuition Reimbursement/Grants & Scholarships
CVPH offers a variety of strategies and support to achieve the target organizational goal of increasing the percentage of nurses with a BSN degree or higher. Some of the strategies to support RNs returning to school include: the availability of monetary support from grant funding to assist with tuition expenses, offering an on-site cohort RN-BSN program in collaboration with Plattsburgh State University, an agreement with 17 schools of nursing to offer tuition discounts, holding onsite knowledge fairs with nursing schools twice a year, and financial support is available through scholarships from the CVPH Foundation and tuition reimbursement available for each employee.
In 2019, CVPH provided nurses and nurse leaders with:
- MSN tuition assistance: $126,017.33
- BSN tuition assistance: $213,502.04
- Certification differentials: $199,000.00
- Certification fees: $49,466.50
- Continuing education (memberships, short courses, workships, conferences, etc.): $44,248.32
NYSNA Members utilized a total of $660,175.44 in education funds, which is comprised of tuition, certifications, conferences, CEU’s, short courses, professional membership dues etc.
Leadership Excellence & Development (LEAD) Program
The LEAD Program is a clinical ladder program for RNs and APRNs to submit a professional portfolio through a formal application process and review every two years. RNs/APRNs eligible to apply for LEAD have the opportunity to do so at two different application submission deadlines, May 31st or October 31st. There are two levels of LEAD available for eligible RNs and APRNs to apply for.
Subspecialty certifications, while excellent, does not fulfill the core certification requirement for LEAD II. He/She consistently exceeds the minimum standards of care and is considered proficient in nursing clinical knowledge and skills in a defined patient population/ occupational group. This RN/APRN is considered and sought out as an expert in at least one area/patient population by his/her peers, demonstrates and shares expert clinical knowledge/skills, utilizes sound critical thinking, knows the evidence-based research, has intuition for making clinical judgments, and is a role model for continuous learning and professional development. Takes time and initiative to advance the nursing practice and patient care at CVPH and the nursing profession and the community involved in those areas.
Felis Scholar Program
This is an opportunity for 2 or 3 staff members to participate in a collaborative workshop on evidence-based practice with The University of Vermont Medical Center (UVMC). Applicants investigate a nursing practice question of their choice and determine an evidence based response to the question. To do this, the applicant is involved in a year-long series of workshops (10 day-long workshops throughout the year at the UVMC campus), with a cumulative project being an abstract for submission on their nursing practice question at the annual UVM Nursing Research Symposium and/or the UVMC Quality Forum. Applicants accepted in the program are expected to attend all training and work meetings as well as the UVM Nursing Research Symposium. In addition, the applicants will present their final work to their colleagues and submit abstract for poster or oral presentation at the conclusion of the program at the following UVM Nursing Research Symposium.
The Criteria to Apply to the Felis Scholar Program Includes:
1. Employed at CVPH (Part Time/Full-time status) for one year or more
2. RN must have a minimum of Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing
4. RN must not be currently enrolled in an academic program.
5. The submission and review of a personal statement regarding the practice question they would like to investigate
6. Two professional letters of recommendation (can be from immediate supervisor)
For More Information on the Felis Scholar Program:
Contact Carlyn Haag, MS, RN-BC, CCRN-K
Director of Nursing Research & Clinical Practice