And nurse leaders will learn how to be educators themselves. Bazarko says the "shortage of faculty and clinical environments to prepare nurse educators" is among the fundamental barriers around training nurses and nurse leaders. With that in mind, graduates of the new program will be also prepared to serve in adjunct faculty roles, if they choose.
"The education that they receive will help these nurses form an executive mindset so they're prepared to move into greater leadership roles in our company," she says. "We'll enhance their business skills and produce new leaders."
The program will be completely funded by UnitedHealth Group, which employs more than 10,000 nurses in 43 states, and will go above and beyond the company's typical tuition reimbursement. Since participants reside all over the country, the three-year program, which is accredited through the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education, will be offered completely online (with the exception of a required 500-hour preceptorship) through a partnership with Capella University.
In addition to making the program accessible to participants in different locales, offering the program online answers another accessibility question for students who also work full time.