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Release Date: April 30, 2013

Schneck Medical Center Earns 2013 Community Civic Engagement Award

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Susan Sullivan
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Schneck Medical Center (SMC) was recognized with Indiana University’s 2013 Community Civic Engagement Award by Dr. Charles Bantz, chancellor of Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, on April 26 in Indianapolis.

The Seymour medical center received the award for its long-standing partnership with the Indiana University School of Nursing, including the Indiana University-Purdue University Columbus (IUPUC) campus, where Schneck is one of the main clinical partners for IUPUC nursing students and faculty.

“Our partnership with Schneck Medical Center is essential as IUPUC continues to explore new ways for educating baccalaureate-prepared RNs in our region,” said Dr. Beth Sharer, head of the Division of Nursing at IUPUC.

In 2008, the Institute of Medine issued a report recommending that 80 percent of practicing RNs hold bachelor degrees in nursing by 2020. Many practicing RNs in this part of Indiana have two-year associate degrees or nursing diplomas. Because of rapidly evolving technological and medical advances, however, RNs need more education to keep pace and deliver the best possible care with positive patient outcomes.

According to Sharer, SMC is at the forefront of healthcare providers in southern Indiana that support staff RNs who continue their educations. Nurses employed at Schneck receive 100 percent tuition reimbursement as an incentive to earn Bachelor of Science in Nursing degrees. “Of the 190 RN to BSN students at IUPUC, approximately 80 of them are employed at Schneck,” Sharer reported.

Sharer and her faculty work closely with SMC to explore new ways of increasing the educational attainment of RNs. “Vicki Johnson, who is vice president of nursing at Schneck, and Meghan Crockett, a nurse educator, are leaders in promoting continued nursing education in the greater Seymour area. Not only do IUPUC students have outstanding clinical experiences at SMC, six of their staff serve as adjunct nursing faculty, which ensures IUPUC students learn from active practitioners with real-world perspectives.”

Of nearly 6,000 hospitals across the U.S., the 114-bed Schneck facility was the only hospital in Indiana to be named among the “Top 25 Hospitals to Work For” by HealthExecNews. SMC was honored with a Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award and the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) recognized it for the second time as an organization that provides quality patient care, promotes nursing excellence, and establishes innovations in practice.

More importantly, however, Schneck is one of just six percent of U.S. hospitals to achieve magnet status, Sharer said, noting that achieving magnet status is a key benchmark in measuring quality of nursing care.

“Magnet-designated healthcare organizations like Schneck consistently outperform their peers in delivering patient care, promoting lifelong education and training, ensuring nurses perform as a high-functioning members of the healthcare team, and providing other important community services,” she explained.

The Indiana University School of Nursing established an RN to BSN program at IUPUC in 2002 at the request of SMC administrators who needed greater capacity for working RNs to continue their educations.

Since then, SMC supported the development of a traditional BSN program at IUPUC to educate first-time nurses who want to enter the profession. All students complete their first three semesters of IUPUC’s clinical practicum at SMC, which has yielded overwhelmingly positive student experiences and feedback. Sharer credits SMC with a generous donation of a labor/delivery bed and gurney last year for IUPUC’s newly opened Simulation Center.

IUPUC began offering nursing courses at the Jackson County Learning Center in Seymour about two years ago because it is a convenient location for many students. This fall, SMC will participate in a pilot study for a clinical homes model that will be coordinated in Columbus by Marsha Hughes-Gay, a member of the IUPUC nursing faculty. The model will enable IU students to become more familiar with clients and the SMC facility while developing their professional skills.

“For these reasons and many others, we thank Schneck Medical Center for its commitment to nursing education and collaboration. We appreciate their dedication to delivering high-quality nursing care throughout our region and are proud to recognize them for their efforts and their support of Indiana University nursing students and programs throughout southern Indiana,” Sharer concluded.

For more information about Indiana University nursing programs at IUPUC, visit www.iupuc.edu, call 812.348.7250, or e-mail nursing@iupuc.edu.