Cooper Health, Bayada, TESU launch partnership that addresses nursing shortage in state

Bayada Scholars Track at Cooper, funded by $5M gift from Bayada Education, will help fast-track nursing students from Thomas Edison State University through mentorship at Cooper Health

In a unique new partnership that is aimed at reducing the nursing shortage in New Jersey, Cooper University Health Care announced Wednesday it is launching Thomas Edison State University’s Accelerated BSN Bayada Scholars Track at Cooper, thanks to a $5 million donation from Bayada Education Inc.

The new scholars track is unique in that it will offer students in TESU’s Accelerated BSN program dedicated clinical site experiences at Cooper, a leading academic, tertiary care hospital, and at Bayada Home Health Care, in addition to employment opportunities at Cooper after graduation.

The goal of the new partnership is to combat the nursing shortage that is straining an already overburdened health care system. The U.S. currently has a significant shortage of 150,000 nurses — a gap that is expected to grow every year.

This program is geared toward providing an accelerated path for those looking to enter the nursing workforce who may already have a bachelor’s degree in another field.

For aspiring nurses, the TESU Accelerated BSN Bayada Scholars Track at Cooper offers an entry point to numerous career options, with opportunities for scholarships and the best of both hospital- and home-based clinical education. For New Jersey, the program aims to attract more people into the nursing profession and to prepare them for success in the next generation of medical careers across the health care continuum.

George Norcross III, chairman of the board at Cooper University Health Care, said the potential impact of the program is huge.

The speakers at the event.

“Today, more than ever, we need nurses who are skilled, compassionate and prepared. We are honored to partner with Bayada Education and TESU to create this unique nursing experience where students will learn in an advanced academic clinical setting alongside of some of the nation’s top nurses and physician specialists, he said.

TESU’s accelerated BSN degree program is a 15-month Bachelor of Science in Nursing designed for adults who have earned a bachelor’s degree and are interested in becoming registered nurses. Recent college graduates and midcareer professionals who want to find meaningful and mission-driven work will have an opportunity to become a nurse in a little over a year.

TESU is proud to join Bayada Education and Cooper University Health Care in directly targeting the nursing shortage,” TESU President Merodie Hancock said.  “This innovative partnership builds on TESU’s highly successful nursing program and addresses the critical nursing shortage by creating a new seamless pathway for aspiring nurses to excel in their careers.”

This unique collaborative approach is the first of its kind in nursing education. The students’ clinical experiences will be hosted by Cooper University Health Care, a leading academic health system and home to the region’s only Level I trauma center, and Bayada Home Health Care, a leading national provider of complex care at home.

Cooper has committed to Bayada Education that students who meet the rigorous academic requirements of the program, pass the nursing licensure exam and meet standardized employment criteria will receive a conditional job offer from Cooper to begin their nursing career there after graduation. Scholarship opportunities will also make the program affordable to more students.

The partnership was organized by Bayada Education, a new nonprofit organization created by a $5 million donation from Ann and Mark Baiada.

Baiada, the founder and chairman of Bayada Home Health Care, said he was overjoyed by the announcement.

“I am so happy to see this partnership come to fruition,” he said. “Talented and compassionate individuals in our community want to find meaningful and fulfilling work. At the same time, our community desperately needs more nurses.

“This partnership will help solve both societal problems, bringing More Great Nurses into the world.”