New partnership will give students a Jumpstart on a healthcare career

Dr. Newman launches Jumpstart

Dr. Mark F. Newman, UK HealthCare executive vice president for health affairs, announced an innovative nursing workforce development program that will kick off this fall in Garrard County. He and other officials made the announcement during a program launch event on May 16 at Garrard County High School.

The Healthcare Jumpstart Program – a partnership between UK HealthCare, Bluegrass Community and Technical College (BCTC) and Garrard County Schools – aims to bolster the future healthcare workforce and provide support for high school students who want to pursue a career in healthcare. The Garrard County program will be the first to launch, with more school districts in the state expected to join the program in the coming months.

The program offers students an accelerated path to a nursing career by providing resources and learning opportunities to earn dual credit while in high school so that they can get a head start on their college education. These dual-credit courses are prerequisites for an associate degree in nursing (ADN).

“The Jumpstart Program will help us cultivate a talented young workforce to meet the healthcare industry’s future challenges while giving Kentucky students a viable path to a rewarding career,” said Dr. Newman, who was joined at the event by BCTC President Koffi Akakpo, PhD; Connie Lamb, PhD, associate dean of academic affairs and director of nursing at BCTC; and Garrard County Schools Superintendent Kevin Stull.

 “The Healthcare Jumpstart Program provides means for our youngest students to get started on their pathway to a career while in high school, saving time and money,” Akakpo said. “These students can graduate debt-free and have a job waiting for them. We are pleased to work with UK Healthcare to make this possible for our students.”

During their junior and senior years of high school, students enrolled in the Jumpstart Program will take courses to prepare for the workforce while earning dual credit toward both high school graduation and their college degree. 

Students who go on to successfully complete the program at BCTC will be eligible for tuition scholarships and guaranteed employment at UK HealthCare. Jumpstart students can earn their ADN in less than two years after high school, preparing them to work as a registered nurse (RN). Advanced practice providers from UK HealthCare will teach some of the BCTC courses.

Students who accept the scholarship commit to working at UK HealthCare for at least three years after completing their ADN, but students may participate in the Jumpstart Program and pursue their college education at BCTC or another post-secondary institution with no commitment to UK HealthCare.

 “The chance for our students to prepare for their career in ways like never before – access to college instructors, opportunities to earn college credits in high school, scholarships, and potential job offers – right at their fingertips will be increased immeasurably through this partnership,” Stull said.

Garrard County is the first Kentucky school district to join the program, and expansion of the program – to include other school districts and healthcare-focused areas of study – is expected in the next year.

“By providing young students the educational and financial resources to pursue a healthcare career at an accelerated pace, we’re reinforcing our commitment to creating a healthier Kentucky on every level,” Dr. Newman said. “We’re proud to pioneer this new approach through the Jumpstart Program.”

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This content was produced by UK HealthCare Brand Strategy.

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