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Help Is on the Way
The largest nursing school in the U.S. is exposing students to careers in surgery while surgical leaders cope with critical staffing shortages.
Joe Paone | Senior Editor
Publish Date: August 2, 2022   |  Tags:   Industry Trends Staffing Workplace Culture
Megan Munoz
NEW HIRE Megan Muñoz is drawn to the camaraderie and teamwork she experienced in the OR and is planning to pursue a career in surgery.   |   Megan Muñoz

Megan Muñoz is finishing up nursing school at Chamberlain University outside of Chicago. She just completed her clinical rotation and will graduate with her BSN in September. Unlike many nursing students, however, Ms. Muñoz is ready to hit the ground running in the OR thanks to a new evidence-based course created by the Association of periOperative Registered Nurses (AORN). The online education program exposes students to perioperative nursing practices with the goal of filling the pipeline with new surgical nurses who will someday help to alleviate severe staffing shortages at hospitals and ASCs across the country. Students who complete the program will begin their careers with relevant specialty-focused training and clinical experience, which will hopefully relieve some of the onboarding burden surgical facilities face when hiring first-time perioperative nurses.

AORN CEO/Executive Director Linda Groah, MSN, RN, CNOR, NEA-BC, FAAN, believes the program will create a successful pathway for nursing students to first experience and then commit to perioperative practice. “This model is an important solution for the recruitment challenges that are facing all facilities that provide surgical services,” she says.

There are 254 students enrolled in the program at eight Chamberlain campuses. Currently eight health systems have partnered with the program to provide the students with on-site learning opportunities — and potential future employment.

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