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Sacred Heart University and Hartford HealthCare Announce Comprehensive HealthCare Training and Development Agreement

May 05, 2023

Sacred Heart University and Hartford HealthCare have announced a comprehensive agreement to collaborate on and expand upon a wide variety of clinical training and development activities—launching a new scholarship, a medical certificate program while augmenting instructional and placement opportunities. Both organizations will benefit—as the agreement better supports SHU nursing and health professions students, while building an important pipeline for Hartford HealthCare in an era of well-known workplace shortages in health care, in Connecticut and across the country.

Both organizations celebrated their agreement today at SHU’s East Building atrium at West Campus.

The agreement covers a spectrum of mutual training and clinical placement options. It will create a range of opportunities for SHU students pursuing BSN and APRN nursing degrees and will present opportunities for those studying emergency and internal medicine, primary care, psychiatry, neuropsychology and women’s health. It will likewise create new opportunities for students interested in becoming physician assistants (PA), physical and occupational therapists, radiographers and other types of diagnostic imaging technicians.

Students will get hands-on experience at Hartford HealthCare facilities as well as SHU’s state-of-the-art Center for Healthcare Education. The center includes unique learning spaces for health professions and nursing students. Construction on a building expansion is underway to accommodate more students and offerings.

Highlights of the new opportunities include:

  • Nurse training and internships, including a new fellowship program for two critical care nursing fellows beginning summer 2023 and significant opportunities for clinical rotations and placements at Hartford HealthCare facilities
  • An expanded certified nursing assistant program that incorporates a shared faculty model
  • An evidence-based practice mentoring program for clinical nurses
  • Additional support for SHU’s existing global nursing program in the Philippines
  • Opportunities for Hartford HealthCare colleagues to enroll in accelerated BSN and RN degree programs
  • Clinical placements and rotations for SHU students studying to become PAs
  • Clinical placements for students studying to become speech-language pathologists
  • An innovative certificate program for clinical quality
  • Expanded programs focused on paramedicine and EMT training
  • Behavioral health clinical training and placements, collaborating with SHU’s Farrington College of Education & Human Development’s master of clinical health counseling program and graduate programs of the College of Arts & Sciences’ School of Social Work

Graduates of these programs will be prepared and ready for the workforce. SHU graduates have impressive exam pass rates. SHU’s Susan L. Davis, R.N., & Richard J. Henley College of Nursing class of 2022 graduates received a 97% first-time pass rate on the National Council Licensure Examination-Registered Nursing (NCLEX-RN). The licensure exam pass rates for students in the College of Health Professions were 99% for physical therapy (PT), 100% for athletic training, 100% for occupational therapy, 97% for speech language pathology, 92% for radiography and 95% for physician assistant studies. These rates surpass the national average. U.S. News & World Report also recently ranked SHU’s PA program 20th in the country.

Additionally, Hartford HealthCare is donating $125,000 per year over the coming four years to help provide and expand advanced simulation technology and techniques across all health professions. This will include educational curricula and learning modules that will be used by students studying women’s health, emergency department care, surgery, pediatrics and other procedural areas. Also, Hartford HealthCare is making a one-time $100,000 donation to create a named scholarship aimed at underserved students interested in nursing, allied health or behavioral health.

“This expanded relationship could not happen at a better time, especially with the shortage of health professionals, qualified educators and clinical training opportunities here in Connecticut and around the country,” said SHU President John J. Petillo. “Hartford Healthcare is generously creating a new scholarship, contributing to our training resources, working with our students and faculty and offering invaluable hands-on, real-world learning. Beyond providing a pipeline of talented and dedicated SHU students to train at their facilities and to possibly join their team down the road, the Hartford HealthCare workforce will have opportunities to train and study within our allied health and nursing degree programs and benefit from our resources, experience and faculty as well.”

“We’re pleased to be strengthening our already significant relationship with Sacred Heart University. Connecticut faces a profound nursing shortage and programs like this will help alleviate that, while planning for the future,” said Dr. Rocco Orlando, senior vice president and chief academic officer at Hartford HealthCare. “Today’s students will become the nurses, physicians, researchers, technicians and clinicians that we need. Through our work with SHU and other health-care educational institutions, we are committed to further developing the health-care workforce and ensuring that our resources, skilled practitioners and expertise choose to live and work in Connecticut after graduation.”