Northwestern Medical Center (NMC) recently welcomed its first cohort of employees to its groundbreaking nursing apprenticeship program, made possible through a strategic partnership between the hospital, Vermont Talent Pipeline (VBR), Vermont State University (VTSU), Community College of Vermont (CCV), and Vermont Student Assistance Corporation (VSAC). This initiative marks a significant milestone in healthcare education and workforce development in Vermont.
Corrine Powell works full time in the Food Service department at NMC. She is one of the aspiring nurses who began classes. Corrine is already enjoying the challenge of Anatomy and Physiology I in her first semester. Nursing had always been a consideration of Powell’s, but she pursued a different undergraduate degree and has held various roles, most recently working at Northeastern Family Institute (NFI) for 10 years supporting youth and their families. The NMC Nursing Apprenticeship came to her attention shortly after her son started his college experience. Watching his educational journey prompted her to restart her own, so she applied for an NMC job right away. As a 15-year resident of St. Albans, she is thrilled about the program “to work at the hospital, within my local community, alongside community members.”
The six apprentices at NMC come from different departments in the hospital and were qualified and selected to start the program this fall to further their careers. Nurse apprentices commit to working upon RN licensure, supporting the strong culture of NMC dedicated employees. The apprentices receive financial and wrap-around support for mentoring, academics, financial literacy, and socio-economic needs as they embark on this path. They are encouraged to reach out for support to balance their classes with a job at the hospital, and home life. One of the ways NMC is directly supporting the apprentice cohort is through paid release time for course and study time each week.
This nursing apprenticeship program is a testament to the power and sustainability of collaboration to address critical workforce challenges. It is expected to have a profound and lasting impact on the shifting healthcare landscape of Vermont, serving as a model for other critical jobs besides nursing. The collaborative partnership between Northwestern Medical Center, Vermont Talent Pipeline, VTSU, CCV, and VSAC underscores the commitment of these organizations to address the growing demand for healthcare workers and ensure that aspiring nurses have access to quality education and meaningful career pathways.
Photo: Congratulations to apprentices beginning their pathway to Registered Nursing. Pictured from left to right: Karen Casavant, Hannah Brannon, Caleb Rudden, Jill Cross, Corrine Powell, Kamryn Taylor.
VBR Research and Education Foundation is a 501(c)3 charitable organization, created by the Vermont Business Roundtable to promote educational opportunities for Vermonters to thrive in a local and global economy. Vermont Talent Pipeline hosts a statewide, demand-driven healthcare employer collaborative to help fill critical skill gaps and to align those with training programs for Vermonters.