November 10, 2022 – Registered practical nurse (RPN) Tara McNicoll always wanted to return to school to become a registered nurse (RN), but the financial cost was a barrier to pursuing this goal. That’s until Arnprior Regional Health (ARH) launched the Employee Bridging Program in the spring of 2022 to support staff in upgrading their skills and education.
“The Bridging Program is an amazing opportunity, and I am very appreciative that my work has offered this funding – it is a huge help,” shared Tara, an Inpatient Unit RPN who enrolled in the Bachelor of Science in Nursing Program at the University of Ottawa in September 2022. “I love the people I work with, and I am happy to give back the years of service to ARH.”
In spring 2022, ARH launched the new Employee Bridging Program (offered alongside the existing Employee Bursary Fund) to provide staff who are interested in upgrading their skills and education with greater financial support. The annual program has been made possible through long-term funding from the ARH Foundation and gives staff the opportunity to apply for up to $5,000 to bridge their education from PSW to RPN, RPN to RN or to complete a new certification that relates to their work at ARH (e.g. Food Service Worker Certification, Operating Room Certification or Emergency Department Certification).
“Retention has never been more important in health care and the feedback from our team members indicated there was significant interest in more financial support for professional growth,” said Andrea McClymont, Vice President, Human Resources, ARH. “Through our partnership with the Foundation, we are making a long-term investment in exemplary team members who are committed to bridging to a new designation or upgrading their skills in return for a commitment of service to the organization.”
In the first year of the Employee Bridging Program, three staff members were selected (based on the eligibility criteria) to receive educational funding to support their move from their current RPN roles to RN roles. The successful 2022 recipients are:
Thirty years ago, Tracy Schlievert’s high school co-op placement at ARH inspired her to help people by becoming a healthcare professional. She followed through on her plan and has worked at the Grove Nursing Home as a RPN since 2017.
“For many years, I considered returning to school to complete the RN program and when the Bridging Program opportunity presented itself, I decided to pursue it,” said Tracy. “With the expense of tuition and textbooks, the bursary makes it possible for me to follow my education goals.”
The Employee Bridging Program will open again for applications in spring 2023. Full-time and part-time staff who have been employed at ARH for a minimum of 1 year are eligible to apply and must sign a return of service agreement for a minimum of two years with ARH upon successful completion of the Employee Bridging Program.
About Arnprior Regional Health
Arnprior Regional Health (ARH) is a progressive 140-bed organization that includes a fully accredited
community hospital, nursing home, primary health care centre and extensive community programs. ARH is a regional hub with a strong history of providing exemplary care to the residents of West Ottawa, McNab/Braeside, Arnprior and Mississippi Mills. As your partner in health, ARH is committed to listening to and responding to meet the needs of those we serve, because together, we create a healthy community.