Albany Tech & Phoebe strengthen bonds

College and health provider expand educational partnership and articulatio
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ALBANY, GA – Phoebe and Albany Technical College (ATC) are expanding their partnership to substantially increase the number of nursing students at the college.  The goal is to increase the number of annual spots in the ATC Associate of Science Nursing (ASN) program to 120 for the Fall 2022 semester.

“Even before COVID-19, the nursing shortage was becoming a national crisis, and the pandemic has only exacerbated the problem.  We must take bold and immediate action to boost the number of nursing graduates in southwest Georgia, and we are grateful that leaders at Albany Tech and our other educational partners are willing to implement innovative solutions to address this issue,” said Evelyn Olenick, DNP, RN, Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital Chief Nursing Officer.

Through a joint agreement signed in 2020, Phoebe funded the salary and benefits for a full-time biology instructor and one-half of a full-time nursing instructor at Albany Tech.  Leaders of the two partner institutions signed an updated agreement Wednesday that keeps the original funding in place and expands it.  Phoebe agreed to fund half the cost of two additional full-time nursing faculty and provide Phoebe nurses to teach part-time at ATC.

“To graduate more nurses, we must provide more nursing classes, and we can only do that if we increase the number of faculty members,” said Anthony Parker, PhD, ATC President.  “We appreciate Phoebe’s willingness to help us hire additional instructors, and we look forward to providing an outstanding education to many more southwest Georgians who want to pursue a career in nursing.”

Phoebe will also provide recruitment expertise to help attract nursing faculty, and Phoebe reaffirmed its commitment to provide $30,000 in scholarships for students in ATC’s emergency medical technician program.

“We worked closely with Dr. Parker and his team at Albany Tech to set some ambitious goals, and I am grateful they are so excited to get to work to reach those goals,” said Scott Steiner, Phoebe Putney Health System President & CEO.  “We will be looking for opportunities to do even more in the future as we work together to try to make sure Phoebe and other healthcare providers in southwest Georgia have the pipeline of well-trained nurses necessary to provide quality care to the people in our part of the state,” Steiner added.

Phoebe will continue to provide access to clinical rotations for Albany Tech ASN students and provide access to the Phoebe Simulation and Innovation Center for ATC students and instructors.  The new agreement also establishes a joint committee to ensure collaboration and successful implementation of the agreement and program expansion.

“This is a great collaboration for our community.  It will provide a career path for more southwest Georgians and help keep them here in our community filling well-paying job opportunities, and we hope this partnership will serve as an example that can be replicated in other parts of the state to help address the nursing shortage,” said Emmett Griswold, Ed.D, Albany Technical College Executive Vice President and Vice President for Academic Affairs.

Albany Tech’s ASN program has a 100% job placement rate for its graduates and a nearly 100% pass rate on the National Council Licensure Examination.