Loyola Medicine joins nationwide effort to address critical shortages of operating room nurses
Loyola Medicine is joining with Chamberlain University and the Association of periOperative Registered Nurses (AORN) as part of a national education and workforce solutions initiative to address critical shortages of operating room nurses suburban Chicago region.
Loyola Medicine is part of an inaugural group of three health care systems nationwide that are involved in expanding the initiative launched by Chamberlain University, which has the largest nursing school in the U.S., and the Association of periOperative Registered Nurses (AORN), creators of evidence-based guidelines and education resources for perioperative practice.
Starting in early 2022, Chamberlain and AORN will launch a 16-week online training module on perioperative nursing that is designed to prepare students to acquire an educational badge in perioperative nursing. Loyola Medicine is collaborating with Chamberlain University to provide local participating students onsite opportunities to gain insight in a supervised perioperative setting.
“This initiative helps address a critical need for more nurses with a perioperative specialty and it aligns with our commitment to providing quality patient service in the Chicago area,” said Peggy Norton-Rosko, DNP, RN, NEA-BC, regional chief nursing officer for Loyola Medicine.
The initiative, designed to be aligned with perioperative industry-specific competencies defined by AORN, is a non-credit bearing program offered at no additional cost to students enrolled in Chamberlain’s Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program. The three health care organizations joining in the launch are Loyola Medicine; Ochsner Health; and Emory Healthcare.
The specialty badge program is designed to create a pipeline of perioperative nurses, also referred to as operating room nurses or surgical nurses, who work with surgical patients in the pre- and intra-operative process and through recovery in post-anesthesia care units. A 2021 research paper, “The State of the Perioperative Nursing Specialty Workforce,” outlines how academic partnerships with hospital facilities can address recruitment and retention challenges as well as be cost-effective. It can cost up to $120,000 to train and prepare a new perioperative nurse, according to the research paper.
The need for perioperative nurses is expected to grow due to an increased volume of surgeries and a nationwide shortage of qualified nurses, according to AORN. Contributing to the shortage is that 20% of operating room nurses are expected to reach retirement age within the next five years, according to data collected by AORN.