Riverside Community Hospital has created RCH University, an application-based educational program that offers Intensive Care and Medical Surgical Transplant Nurses a unique opportunity to advance their clinical knowledge and further specialize in one of these major service lines: cardiovascular, trauma, neurology or transplant. The three-month educational program is a blend of hands-on didactic training and bedside clinical application. Participants are guided through intense, weekly sessions that dive deeper into the pathophysiology, pharmacology, assessments, clinical indications and overall outcomes of patients. Participants acquire the ability to assess, identify, develop and lead to improve clinical knowledge, judgement and treatment for highly acute patient populations.

The inaugural class started in January 2022 with 16 ICU nurses. They participated in weekly four-hour service line sessions that blended didactic and clinical application using lectures, hands-on simulation lab, online coursework and exclusive patient care training. Nurses were paid for the four-hour sessions but additional time outside of work was required to complete readings and homework assignments. It was expected that participants completed 100% of the program to meet graduation requirements.

Each participant was supported by a team which included service line physicians, advanced practice providers, coordinators, the facility Chief Nursing Officer, Associate Chief Nursing Officer, Critical Care Director, Unit Manager and facility educators. The team was responsible for ensuring a complete learning experience as well as providing ongoing development feedback to the participant and unit leadership.

“As a facility experiencing tremendous growth within our high acuity services lines, we recognized our nurses wanted to become experts in their areas of passion,” said Annette Greenwood, Chief Nursing Officer at Riverside Community Hospital. “It was important to create a mechanism for our exceptional nurses to gain a higher level of expertise by providing a training program.”

One of the Neuroscience students, Trinity Rector, RN, said, “I applied to RCH University because Neurology is very personal to me and my family as a loved one of ours suffered a spinal cord injury. Every neuro patient and their family should know they will get the best care when they come to Riverside Community Hospital because I, along with my colleagues, really care deeply about helping patients overcome these types of injuries. RCH University helped me provide better care to my patients.”

All four classes will participate in a special graduation ceremony on May 27.

“Bringing world-class healthcare close to home requires our nursing staff are second to none and provide excellent care with compassion and confidence,” said Jackie Van Blaricum, Chief Executive Officer, Riverside Community Hospital. “Our RCH University allows the team to have expert nurses working every shift, sharing in knowledge and leading the team to care for complex patients with precision and passion.”

Neurology Class, L to R: Jonathan Annand, RN, Neuroscience Coordinator, Michael Viana, RN, Ken Hashimoto, RN, Adam Miron, RN, Chelsea Stewart, RN, Trinity Rector, RN, Luke Hopps, BSHA, RN, Director, Neurosciences

MIC Photo, L to R: Maria Wooten, RN, Kasey Hernandez, RN, Nancy Mallari-Limcango, RN, Francesca Haran, RN, Michael Viana, RN, Chelsea Stewart, RN, Adam Miron, RN, Ann Peters, RN, Janee Covey, RN, Manger, MIC, Dovane Thach, RN, Larry Fernandez, RN