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Cheshire Medical Center to Hire New England College Nursing Students While They Complete Nursing Degree

Published Tuesday Dec 5, 2023

Author BNH Staff Reports

Cheshire Medical Center has teamed up with New England Collegefor nursing students to earn credits while working as licensed nursing assistants at the hospital. Pictured: During a training at Cheshire, Emergency Department Supervisor Justin Lyons set a scenario of an unresponsive patient in the Sim Lab. The nurses are responding with the crash cart and preparing to begin CPR. (Courtesy photo)

Cheshire Medical Center in Keene, a member of Dartmouth Health, formed a new affiliation with New England College (NEC) in Henniker, to create a pipeline for new nurses by giving students the ability to earn college credits toward their nursing degree while filling hospital staffing needs for licensed nursing assistants (LNAs).

“I am thrilled to be working with NEC administrators, faculty and students to grow the healthcare workforce while developing nurses who will serve our community for years to come,” says Cheshire’s Chief Nursing Officer Anne E. Tyrol. “The innovation and flexibility of the NEC program creates opportunities previously not available in this area, especially for current employees who plan to continue working full time during their program. Our Cheshire nursing team is very excited to welcome our first cohort of students in 2024.”

This fall, up to 12 students will be selected to be the first group to receive their cooperative clinical experience at Cheshire. They will begin their clinical training and paid employment in the summer of 2024.

“Cheshire’s new affiliation with NEC is an innovative model that pairs core nursing education with on-the-job learning and employment throughout the program,” says Carolyn Isabelle, director of workforce development at Dartmouth Health. 

Students enrolled in NEC’s three-year Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program are paired with an employer to complete their 14-week cooperative clinical experience each year, in addition to their coursework. During their clinical experience, students will earn credits toward their degree while they work as LNAs and earn a salary from Cheshire.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects the nursing workforce will grow by only 6% over the next decade, which is insufficient to fill an estimated 203,200 openings for RNs each year between 2021 and 2031. As such, Dartmouth Health has a simial relationship with Colby-Sawyer College in New London. Dartmouth Health’s Workforce Readiness Institute, a licensed career school, also offers earn-while-you-learn opportunities for nursing and medical assistants, ophthalmic assistants, phlebotomists, pharmacy technicians and surgical technologists. Trainees earn wages and benefits while they work, and graduates transition to full-time roles in the Dartmouth Health system.


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