OKLAHOMA – SSM Health has launched a Return to Practice collaboration open to nurses in central Oklahoma. This program was created to meet the continuing need for exceptional clinicians during the pandemic in partnership with Saint Louis University’s Trudy Busch Valentine School of Nursing.

The program, which pays nurses throughout the training, provides remote and hands-on instruction to nursing professionals who wish to return to patient care. The course, which typically takes four weeks to complete, is being condensed to two weeks to allow returning clinicians to make an immediate impact. Participants will be paired with more experienced nurses on the job once their training is complete. Once the pandemic is over, participants have the option to continue as an SSM Health nurse and go through the SSM Health new hire nurse onboarding program.

Oklahoma nurses who complete the program will be placed at SSM Health St. Anthony Hospital-Oklahoma City and SSM Health St. Anthony Hospital-Shawnee.

Amber Wood, RN, MSN, MBA, director of learning and development for SSM Health, and her team aimed to enable nurses who had been away from active nursing to gain training and update their licenses. Joanne Langan, Ph.D., RN, C.N.E., professor of nursing at SLU and coordinator of Disaster Preparedness and Return to Practice at the Valentine School of Nursing, worked with SLU faculty, staff and IT support teams to quickly adapt the program to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. The program initially launched at SSM Health in 2017 and was recognized by the St. Louis Business Journal as one of the best human resources programs in the St. Louis area in 2019.

“Most of us become nurses because we want to make a difference,” Wood says. “I talk to many former nurses who would like to come back to the field but are not even sure how to begin. This program lets them see a clear path back to patient care even if it is only to support during the pandemic.”

The next session of Return to Practice is scheduled to begin April 20. For more information or to register, click here. https://ssmhealth.avature.net/RNReturntoPractice

About SSM Health

SSM Health is a Catholic, not-for-profit health system serving the comprehensive health needs of communities across the Midwest through a robust and fully integrated health care delivery system. The organization’s nearly 40,000 employees and 11,000 providers are committed to providing exceptional health care services and revealing God’s healing presence to everyone they serve.

With care delivery sites in Illinois, Missouri, Oklahoma and Wisconsin, SSM Health includes 23 hospitals, more than 290 physician offices and other outpatient and virtual care services, 10 post-acute facilities, comprehensive home care and hospice services, a pharmacy benefit company, a health insurance company and an accountable care organization. It is one of the largest employers in every community it serves. For more information, visit ssmhealth.com or find us on Facebook and Twitter.

Saint Louis University’s Trudy Busch Valentine School of Nursing

Founded in 1928, the Trudy Busch Valentine School of Nursing at Saint Louis University has achieved a national reputation for its innovative and pioneering programs. Offering bachelor's, master's, and doctoral nursing programs, its faculty members are nationally recognized for their teaching, research and clinical expertise.