Sen. Tony Hwang on Apr. 21 had the opportunity to see compassion in action during a visit to Sacred Heart University’s Dr. Susan L. Davis, RN, & Richard J. Henley College of Nursing (DHCON) in Bridgeport/Fairfield.
“What I witnessed during a tour led by DHCON Dean Karen Daley and other dedicated clinical nursing faculty members has given me an even deeper appreciation for nursing educators and their selfless commitment to training and teaching our future workforce,” Sen. Hwang said. “My experience at DHCON also gave me hope for an industry which has endured – and met – so many challenges in the recent pandemic years.
Sacred Heart University is now using a $2.5 million grant to help grow and diversify the next generation of nurses.
There is a present obligation to perform a needs assessment for the clinical placements of our students who are required to have hands-on experience in a hospital setting. There are an insufficient number of clinical sites in the State of Connecticut, impacting enrollment of students greatly nationwide. While the pandemic increased the demand for nurses, its impact has limited access to clinical sites and contributed to the shortage. The unfortunate reality is that with a declining number of nurses, those that are working in hospitals are not able to dedicate enough time to teach students due to high patient volumes.
“It is essential to focus on solving the challenges of the nursing shortage collaboratively at both the state and discipline level,” said Dean Daley. “Sen. Hwang’s commitment to helping to solve this crisis makes me hopeful for innovative solutions that we can work on together across all sectors to ensure quality nursing education and care for all Connecticut citizens.”
“Nursing is a rewarding and societal essential career,” Sen. Hwang said. “It may also be a sensible second career choice for those who want to make a positive difference later in life. DHCON utilizes many new beneficial technologies that can’t be found in online class settings. Increasing the number of qualified nurses entering the workforce will make a major impact on our state’s health and wellness. We can also diversify the nursing workforce by supporting tuition for qualified students. At the State Capitol, Senate Republicans and I are seeking to require state agencies to work with the Connecticut Hospital Association to develop curriculum for a high school “Health Care Academy”: an early pipeline for future state nurses which should produce positive results, if passed.”