Nurse Preceptor Initiative

In 2006, ECMHF was awarded a five-year Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) Nurse Education Practice and Retention Program grant.

This grant enabled 17 area hospitals, regional health departments, and local colleges and universities to collaborate on the Nurse Preceptor Initiative, where nurses were trained to be preceptors to new nurses.

Ultimately, the initiative sought to reduce nurse turnover rates, increase patient satisfaction with care, and increase nurses' satisfaction with their employment.

The grant was very successful and yielded positive results. Over 885 nurses were trained through 2011 -- almost double the goal of 454 stipulated in the grant. Data reported by hospitals proved that nurse retention improved and nurse satisfaction surveys showed great improvement, as well.

Over the five years of the program, nurse vacancy rates declined significantly, patient satisfaction with nursing care rose modestly and nurse satisfaction with employment rose modestly. Incident reports involving nurses also declined steadily from year two through year five of the grant.

Source: Public Sector Consultants Report in 2011