The continuing education and workforce development program at Broward College, Fort Lauderdale, Fla., is offering a new advanced heart failure course as part of the effort to respond to changing community needs through the Broward Specialty Nursing Consortium.
The consortium is a partnership between the college and medical professionals in the North Broward and South Broward hospital districts, in conjunction with Holy Cross Hospital, Fort Lauderdale and the Cleveland Clinic, which has a Broward County location in Weston. It was formed to adapt quickly as South Florida’s constantly changing healthcare needs are identified.
“What we are doing is completely unprecedented because there is no other partnership like this between hospital systems and colleges anywhere in the United States,” said Donna Merolle, dean of continuing education and workforce development.
The consortium was formed more than 10 years ago to pool resources and educate nurses. It covers 11 hospitals and educates a diverse group of nurses. In 2014, Broward College had more than 1,000 students taking specialty training courses.
Each course is designed to be in a blended learning format through individual study, online systems and classroom work. Nurses also learn through simulation in Broward College’s Health Science Simulation Center, and work in hospitals for clinical requirements in some courses.
Mimi Weber, administrative director and chief learning officer of organizational development at Memorial Healthcare System, said the program adjusts to meet community needs. Last year, a perioperative nursing course was created, and Weber said the new advanced heart failure course “continues to be an invaluable resource to the community by responding to the needs of many local hospitals.”