Director, Advancement Communications
ATLANTA—Grady Health System and Georgia State University’s Byrdine F. Lewis College of Nursing and Health Professions announced a formal partnership that will expand the nursing education pipeline and strengthen nursing recruitment at Grady. The partnership enables a greater number of qualified students to fulfill their educational and career aspirations and addresses the critical nursing shortage at Grady, exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Robert W. Woodruff Foundation committed a combined $23.6 million to launch the joint nursing education program.
“We are grateful for the Woodruff Foundation’s remarkable support and thrilled to partner with Georgia State to prepare nurses who will thrive in today’s healthcare workforce,” said John Haupert, president and CEO, Grady Health System. “Grady will draw on our expertise as the state’s top teaching hospital to create a leading-edge clinical training experience for student nurses, helping us better attract dedicated professionals who will serve on the frontline of care for this community.”
Grady will become the primary clinical training site for Georgia State nursing students during the final two years of the Bachelor of Science in Nursing (B.S.N.) program. Student nurses will benefit from exposure to Grady’s highly specialized clinical programs and receive hands-on instruction and mentoring from experienced staff nurses.
Both Georgia State and Grady will develop leading-edge simulation training and classroom space to support learning activities. The university will hire additional faculty, expand physical simulation lab space and establish a scholarship program for students committed to practicing at Grady following graduation. In addition, Georgia State will support nursing externships for undergraduate students.
“This partnership with Grady strongly supports two of the most impactful aspects of our university – student success and college to careers,” said M. Brian Blake, president of Georgia State University. “Nurses are critical to our overall well-being and this partnership ensures the success of Georgia State nursing students and guarantees a place to begin their careers.”
Grady will simultaneously launch a best practice professional development and nurse residency program to support new graduates transitioning to a clinical setting. The program will offer a continuum of skill-building and leadership training so that nurses have clear opportunities for professional progression, whether they are new or seasoned nursing team members.
“The pandemic has underscored how essential nurses are to providing quality care, and we must support them with continuous learning opportunities. This partnership demonstrates our shared commitment to elevating the nursing profession,” said Michelle Wallace, chief nursing officer, Grady Health System.
“The Woodruff gift is a game changer for undergraduate nursing education,” said Huanbiao Mo, dean of the Byrdine F. Lewis College of Nursing and Health Professions. “I also want to thank the Grady leadership and our nursing faculty who made this partnership possible.”
About Grady Health System
Grady Health System is one of the largest safety net health systems in the nation. Grady consists of the 953-bed Grady Memorial Hospital, six neighborhood health centers, Crestview Health & Rehabilitation Center and Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta at Hughes Spalding, which is operated as a Children’s affiliate.
With its nationally acclaimed emergency services, Grady is Atlanta’s premier Level 1 trauma center – the metro area’s only nationally verified Level 1 center. Grady EMS serves as the 911 ambulance provider for the city of Atlanta, South Fulton County communities, and numerous counties across Georgia. It also operates the state’s first Mobile Stroke Unit, taking cutting-edge pre-hospital care directly to patients. Grady’s American Burn Association/American College of Surgeons verified Burn Center is one of only two in the state. And the Marcus Stroke and Neuroscience Center is a Joint Commission designated Advanced Comprehensive Stroke Center.
Other key services/distinctions include Grady’s Regional Perinatal Center with its Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, Georgia’s first Cancer Center for Excellence, The Avon Comprehensive Breast Center, the Georgia Comprehensive Sickle Cell Center, and the Ponce de Leon Center – one of the top HIV/AIDS outpatient clinics in the country. Grady is one of an elite group of hospitals to earn the Baby-Friendly USA international recognition as a Baby-Friendly Designated birth facility. Grady has earned the prestigious Stage 7 on the HIMSS Analytics Electronic Medical Record Adoption Model – Georgia’s first adult acute care hospital to earn the highest rating for improving patient care and safety through health information technology.