Erlanger Health System (EHS) has always been very supportive of employees who wish to continue or further their education, both with degree and continuing education courses. In addition to the standard tuition reimbursement offered by EHS, there are EHS scholarships for nursing students who are also employees and partnerships with numerous colleges and universities that offer EHS employees significant discounts. There is truly something for everyone at these colleges and universities. Discounts vary by institution and courses but many offer accelerated programs where the student works at his or her own pace. This is a great alternative to work with busy schedules at the pace of the student. It also works to the student’s advantage as the student can move through the program faster when the student has time available.
Many of the partner universities offer free webinars that result in continuing education credit. For example, Walden University offers quite a few webinars and continuing educational credits for nurses and for those non-nurses in health care leadership. These free webinars are advertised around campus frequently via flyers or via email.
Currently, the following colleges and universities have partnership agreements with EHS:
- University of Phoenix
- Drexel University
- Liberty University
- DeVry University
- Trident University
- Western Governors University
- Chamberlain College of Nursing
- American Sentinel University
- Regent University
- Walden University
Employees from throughout the EHS enterprise can log onto the EHS Human Resources page on College and University Partners or the link can also be found on the Human Resources Benefit page under education.
EHS nurses who are contemplating obtaining another degree or becoming a nurse practitioner or nurse anesthetist can contact Dr. William Crowe via email at William.Crowe@erlanger.org. Dr. Crowe oversees Professional Nursing Development for the system and is happy to assist with general advice and to help nurses decide which degree or track suits individual career goals.
One of the partnerships not mentioned above, and not mentioned on the Human Resources page is the relationship between EHS and the School of Nursing (SON) at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga (UTC). EHS has always enjoyed a wonderful relationship with the UTC SON. Realizing several years ago that additional acute care nurse practitioners were needed, EHS partnered with UTC SON to start an acute care program at UTC. This was the city’s second acute care program and provided additional seats and opportunities for those nurses seeking certification as an acute care nurse practitioner. The city’s first acute care nurse practitioner program was at Southern Adventist University and started in 2008. Dr. Crowe serves as the Coordinator of the Adult Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner Program at UTC. Courses in the program have been taught by several other EHS employees including: Jennifer Patterson, MSN, ACNP-BC (with Erlanger Neurology); and Christi Denton, MSN, NP-C, AG-ACNP-BC (with Pulmonary Critical Care Medicine), and Brittany Cusack, DNP, ANP-BC, PMHNP-BC (Behavioral Health and Hospitalist Service).
Additional educational opportunities for nurses include the Chattanooga State Community College partnership with EHS to transition EHS LPNs to RNs, and the East Tennessee State University’s partnership with EHS to transition EHS LPNs to BSN nurses. Both of these programs are in high demand. The ETSU/EHS program accepted seven students into the program during its first semester in Chattanooga, and 30 LPNs into the program for the next semester’s cohort.
Providing these wonderful educational benefits to employees is one way EHS shows its own dedication to education and the importance of lifelong learning. Employees are urged to take advantage of these opportunities and discounts. Check the Human Resources page frequently as new programs and universities are added often!