Spectrum Health Supports Continuing Education and Professional Development
Spectrum Health nurses believe that continued professional growth requires a commitment to lifelong learning-using knowledge to provide quality care that leads to optimal patient outcomes. Four times a year, the Spectrum Health and Helen DeVos Children's Hospital foundations offer several generous education grants and scholarships to bedside nurses. These grants support attendance at conferences where nurses learn about current best practices.
|2008 Foundation Scholarships Awarded
|HDVCH Science of Healing Scholarships
190 Awards at $125,382
|McLeod Educational Scholarships
55 Awards at $60,19
|Steketee Educational Scholarships
17 Awards at $16,707
|Grand Total: 262 Awards at $202,287
Three scholarships-the Verland and Carol McLeod Educational Scholarship for Nursing Excellence, the Marion C. Steketee Educational Scholarship for Nursing Excellence and the Helen DeVos Children's Hospital Science of Healing Scholarship-provide funds for bedside nurses to attend regional, state or national conferences. Last year, these three scholarships distributed $202,287 to 262 nurses.
The Helen DeVos Children's Hospital Science of Healing Scholarships support the continuing education of non-physician pediatric care providers at all Spectrum Health facilities. The Verland and Carol McLeod Educational Scholarship for Nursing Excellence is available to Butterworth Hospital nursing staff and the Marion C. Steketee Educational Scholarship for Nursing Excellence is available to Blodgett Hospital nursing staff.
Funds are used for registration, travel, lodging and meals. A scholarship committee reviews and approves applications based on alignment with the scholarship criteria, quality of the application and how the education might be integrated into the nurse's unit or department. Applications are accepted quarterly: March 1, June 1, September 1 and December 1.
The Nursing Education and Research Fund (NERF) is used for various programs that support professional development and create an environment that helps recruit, retain and inspire nurses. In 2008, $36,067 was awarded from this fund.
In addition, each nursing director has budgeted dollars available to use toward the education and development of staff.
Tuition Reimbursement Enhancements
In 2008, Spectrum Health broadened its tuition reimbursement policy for doctoral nursing degrees. In addition to PhDs, other doctoral nursing degrees, including DNPs, are not eligible for tuition reimbursement as part of the organization's position shortage list.
In total, 503 participants were reimbursed $897,230 in tuition for 2008.