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September 5, 2008

Farmingdale State & Parker Jewish Geriatric Institute Partner

Career Mobility to Nursing Assistants Provided

In an effort to motivate nursing assistants to pursue careers as RNs-Registered Nurses--and to also respond to the shortage of nurses in the healthcare industry--Farmingdale State College's School of Health Sciences and the Long Island Educational Opportunity Center have partnered with Parker Jewish Geriatric Institute to provide training in geriatric care. The focus of the partnership is a gerontology course developed by a member of the Farmingdale nursing faculty and offered on-site at the Parker Institute in Lake Success .

Training in the course will advance the skills of nursing assistants, resulting in an improvement in the care and quality of life of the residents of Parker Institute. Additionally, it is hoped that successful completion of this college-level course will motivate participants to further their education in nursing, thereby advancing career development for these high demand caregivers of long term care residents.

The mission of the partnership is to develop and redesign systems that support and institutionalize learning and career advancement and incorporate a test new model of work-based learning in the nursing home.

"This program is an excellent example of how Farmingdale State shapes its academic programs and provides resources to meet industry and community needs," said Farmingdale's Dean of the School of Health Sciences, Dr. Marie Hayden-Miles . "The College's nursing program has an enrollment of 400 students and is one of the College's most well established programs, graduating its first class in the mid 1960s."

Most of the nursing assistants employed at Parker Institute have never had an opportunity to take a college course. Forty qualified nursing assistants were accepted into the course and 30 successfully completed it. Additionally, those nursing assistants not qualified to enroll in the course are receiving remediation through the LIEOC. This initiative will continue for at least two more semesters, bringing more nursing assistants into the program.

As part of this initiative, the Parker Institute paid for full tuition, fees, and books for Farmingdale nursing students, who were LPNs and wished to become RNs. Nearly 60 students have graduated from Farmingdale's associate degree nursing program as a result of this initiative. The Parker Institute is an internationally recognized 527-bed center for the health care and rehabilitation of adults.