A state program to support recruitment and training for health care professionals will benefit nurses across Care Dimensions. The Massachusetts Office of Health and Human Services oversaw the distribution of $42.5 million in grant money this winter. Care Dimensions was awarded over $400,000 in funds.
A portion of funding will go towards expanding Care Dimensions’ innovative nurse residency program from one annual session to two. The program introduces new nursing graduates and experienced nurses to the field of hospice and palliative care. It includes classroom education, as well as field visits and patient care with the mentorship of a preceptor.
“For years, our residency program has been a national benchmark for how to introduce nurses to the specifics of end-of-life care,” said Director of Research Caitlin Brennan, who runs the program. “Adding a second residency each year not only doubles the number of nurses we can educate, but also continues to show that Care Dimensions is an industry leader when it comes to training and education.”
RNs have traditionally benefited from the program. For the first time, the upcoming fall residency will also include LPNs.
Current nurses at Care Dimensions will also see benefits from the grant in the form of new professional development opportunities.
“Case management in a home hospice setting requires autonomy, responsiveness, and confidence,” said Dawnett White, Director of Clinical Practice and Education. “Even nurses who join us with decades of experience can benefit from case management skills training, as the home environment can be much different than a hospital setting, for example. The grant will allow us to develop new creative ways to teach case management skills that our nurses need to manage the day-to-day care of our patients.”
Those new techniques will also be incorporated into new hire orientation sessions, ensuring nurses get the relevant training from “Day One.”
“This is a significant source of funding that will lead to both immediate and long-lasting benefits,” said Chief Clinical Officer Patricia Ramsden. “We are committed to clinical professional development where our team members can grow into thriving and rewarding careers. Educating nurses about the nuances of hospice care and case management will help them build their skills, and ultimately, that benefits our patients and families.”
The grant funds will be distributed this spring. They will fund these new and expanded initiatives at Care Dimensions over the next two years.
Since 1978, Care Dimensions, formerly Hospice of the North Shore, has provided comprehensive and compassionate care for individuals and families dealing with life-threatening illnesses. As the non-profit leader in advanced illness care, we offer services in over 100 communities in Massachusetts.