UNC Charlotte/CaroMont Community Partnership Makes CUSP Program A Huge Success…..
According to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN), in 2008 almost 50,000 qualified applicants were unable to enroll in nursing programs due to barriers to expanding nursing education programs, including limited classroom and clinical space, a diminishing pool of faculty, and funding cuts. To address these concerns, the University of North Carolina at Charlotte School of Nursing (SON) and CaroMont Health engaged in a partnership to meet CaroMont’s goal to recruit BSN graduates and UNCC’s goal of having clinical experiences for our students.
The partnership, called CaroMont University Student Partners (CUSP), is a collaborative arrangement between UNC Charlotte School of Nursing and CaroMont Health. The partnership provides undergraduate nursing students with clinical experiences at a variety of CaroMont Health-associated health care facilities in Gaston County, including Gaston Memorial Hospital, Gaston Hospice, Gaston County Health Department, and Courtland Terrace. Ten students from each fall cohort of admitted undergraduate nursing students at UNC Charlotte are designated as CUSP students. CUSP students perform and spend their entire clinical experiences at Gaston Memorial Hospital and Gaston County facilities under the guidance and direction of a clinical instructor. Mrs. Ann Hart, an MSN-prepared clinical nurse specialist hired by CaroMont, is the CUSP instructor and is designated as an adjunct faculty member in the School of Nursing. Ms. Hart has total oversight for providing the clinical learning for the 10 CUSP students.
In turn, CaroMont Health benefits from the exposure of students to their Magnet culture which is an asset for their recruitment. UNC Charlotte School of Nursing also provides a PhD research-focused faculty member to support and guide development of research proposals and publications for staff nurses employed at CaroMont Health, which assists CaroMont Health with maintaining Magnet status. Dr. Sonya Hardin, a nursing professor with expertise in evidence-based practice works with nurses at CaroMont on the Research Council to facilitate development, implementation, and dissemination of nursing research. Graduate nursing students at UNC Charlotte (nurse administration, public health nursing, nursing education, and family nurse practitioner) also receive clinical experiences while working with advanced practice nurse preceptors in a variety of health care settings at CaroMont and associated-related facilities.