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Investments in Nurse Education

HCA Healthcare announced that its investments in nurse clinical education since 2019 have totaled more than $300 million – and that it will more than double the size of its current footprint of 15 centers while supporting the planned expansion of the Research College of Nursing.


In 2019, $46 million from HCA funded 12 centers for the HCA Centers for Clinical Advancement, which are independently operated, according to the provider.

The centers currently have a total of 68 classrooms, 65 simulation rooms and more than 145 manikins for training, residency and advanced certification programs. Practicing nurses can perform hands-on skills training with immersive simulation, record their sessions and receive mentoring and feedback from clinicians across the U.S.

With an additional $90 million, HCA says it plans to open 20 more nursing clinical advancement centers in the next three years.

The provider also announced it would invest $34.5 million to help the Kansas City, Missouri-based Research College of Nursing expand. A new 78,000-square-foot HCA Healthcare Center for Clinical Advancement is to be completed in 2025 as part of efforts to expand the campus of Research Medical Center.

The Kansas City center will include a patient simulation laboratory, classrooms and training technologies that build nursing competencies as well as small group study spaces, HCA said in the announcement.

HCA has been making these investments in order to train the next generation of nurses, Sam Hazen, chief executive officer of HCA, said in the statement.

In 2020, HCA purchased Galen College of Nursing to increase access to nursing education and provide its nurses with career development opportunities, investing $200M to expand the school.

The provider says that 3,000 HCA employees are enrolled, and Galen has added 14 new campuses that bring its total student population to 12,000.

Later, HCA distributed more than $20 million for tuition assistance to a number of nursing institutions, scholarships, grants internships, partnerships and programs, like the Nurse Explorer Boot Camp at Pensacola State College.


Last year, when the American Nurses Association released an updated “Nurses Bill of Rights” during National Nurses Week, one of eight “non-negotiable” rights for all nurses prioritized education was “to meet the increasing complexities of care delivery.”

The second right, “Continuous access to training, education, professional development, as well as pathways for nurses to be recognized as leaders and in roles to direct shared decision-making on nursing practice, resources, staffing concerns and patient safety issues,” fell only behind the authority to practice at the top of their license and credentials without barriers.

The nursing burnout experienced throughout the pandemic created a tipping point for the profession, with scores of nurses leaving or thinking about leaving the profession.

“While many once envisioned a lifelong career in the field, the effects of the pandemic, compounded with years and years of systemic procedural problems, have forced many to leave the profession they once, or still love,” Shawn Sefton, chief nursing officer and vice president of client services at Hospital IQ, told Healthcare IT News last year.

In addition to well-documented nurse burnout, a survey for KLAS Research’s Arch Collaborative Nursing Guidebook 2022 revealed that challenges with electronic health records may also be enough to sour the love of nursing as a profession.

KLAS recommended not only ongoing EHR education training, but also involving nurses in EHR governance and decision-making, because organizations with multidisciplinary teams have higher EHR satisfaction.


“We believe supporting nurses in their practice through available and effective clinical education helps drive the delivery of high-quality patient care,” said Hazen in a statement.

“Providing a safe and realistic learning environment for our nurses promotes clinical skill readiness and development,” added Sammie Mosier, HCA’s chief nurse executive.


Andrea Fox is senior editor of Healthcare IT News.

Healthcare IT News is a HIMSS Media publication.

HCA pledges new investments in nurse education and IT training

The funding includes $90 million to open 20 new centers for nurse clinical advancement as part of the national healthcare provider’s nursing strategy, said its chief nurse executive.

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