Challenge grant goes for nurse recruitment

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FARMINGTON – The Bangor Savings Bank Foundation board of directors recently awarded Franklin Memorial Hospital a grant of $5,000 to serve as a challenge grant to seed the “Recruit and Retain Nurses Project.”

The project goal is to recruit and retain nurses in greater Franklin County by implementing a marketing plan to promote nursing, developing an incentive plan to help retain nursing staff and obtaining a simulation educational model to enhance the training of clinical staff and students.

“The marketing plan is aimed at encouraging residents to consider careers in nursing and will feature local nurses in local advertisements who stress the vital role of nurses and express pride and satisfaction with their career choice,” said Maureen Goudreau, director of the Franklin Community Health Network Foundation. “The incentive plan will provide educational loan paybacks and course reimbursements, starting July 2008.”

A manikin that provides simulation-based education to challenge and test clinical decision-making skills during realistic patient care scenarios will also be purchased.

“With the national focus on the prevention of medical errors, the simulation education will sharpen the skills of staff and students to better prepare them to work in the fast paced, highly skilled and technically challenging patient care arena,” she added.

“Recruitment and retention of nurses is one of the major challenges confronting health care today, and it’s exceptionally difficult in rural areas,” said Pam Ernest, FMH chief nursing officer. “The fierce competition for experienced nurses demands a strategic approach to attract, retain and develop talented nurses for the years ahead. We looked at several strategies that would do just that and selected three approaches to meet our goals.”

“The Bangor Savings Bank Foundation was the first to step forward and place a challenge out there for others to come together behind Franklin Memorial Hospital in its quest to solve the nursing shortage in rural Maine,” said Goudreau.

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