Empowering Nurses: Norfolk General Hospital’s Innovative Clinical Scholar Program

Nursing is a demanding and vital profession that requires continuous growth and development. Norfolk General Hospital (NGH) recognizes the importance of empowering nurses and supporting their professional journey. The Clinical Scholar Program pilot was launched in September 2023. This ministry funded program aims to strengthen our nursing workforce while enriching the professional development of our dedicated staff at NGH.

Benefits of the Clinical Scholar Program

The Clinical Scholar Program is designed to provide support and mentorship to Registered Practical Nurses (RPNs) and Registered Nurses (RNs) at different stages of their careers. The program pairs experienced front-line nurses with newly graduated nurses, internationally educated nurses, and those seeking to upskill. By fostering mentorship and skill development, we aim to ensure a confident transition into the nursing profession while retaining our experienced nursing staff.

The Clinical Scholar Program offers numerous benefits for both the mentor and mentee. Through this program, newly graduated nurses and those seeking to upskill will have access to the guidance and expertise of experienced nurses, in a supernumerary position. This mentorship will not only enhance their clinical skills but also provide valuable insights into the profession.

For the mentors, the program provides an opportunity to share their knowledge and expertise while developing leadership and coaching skills. It allows them to make a positive impact on the nursing workforce by helping shape the next generation of nurses.

The Clinical Scholars are part-time and support designated areas:

As of the end of January, 2024, the clinical scholars have mentored 159 nurses, providing a cumulative 3,502 hours of mentorship on the nursing units.

By fostering skill enhancement, knowledge sharing, and professional growth, we aim to keep new nurses at NGH. The program will contribute to the enhancement of patient care quality and the overall healthcare experience for our patients.

Community Commitment Program for Nurses

At NGH, we are committed not only to our nursing team but also to the communities we serve. In addition to the Clinical Scholar Program, we have a “Community Commitment Program for Nurses” in full force. This program offers a substantial $25,000 incentive to nurses who commit to serving in rural areas for a minimum of two years.

Since its inception in 2020, the Community Commitment Program for Nurses has been a resounding success. It has successfully recruited and placed over 2,600 dedicated nurses across Ontario, making a significant impact on healthcare services in rural areas. We are proud to continue this program, emphasizing our unwavering dedication to the growth and development of our nursing staff.

We encourage all eligible nursing students to explore the opportunities provided by the Clinical Scholar Program and the Community Commitment Program for Nurses. These initiatives offer a unique chance to be part of a supportive nursing community and make a difference in the lives of patients.

To learn more about the current opportunities and find the best fit within the NGH team, please contact our dedicated Talent Acquisition team at nghhr@ngh.on.ca. They will be more than happy to provide further information and assist you throughout the application process.