Elevating Senior Care through Innovative Community Partnerships

San Diego City College Nursing Education Program and St. Paul’s Senior Services 

As the leaders in senior care, St. Paul’s Senior Services (SPSS) continues to make strides in discovering the most effective ways to not only enhance the delivery of exceptional care from their staff, but also develop the future front-line workers of tomorrow. Community partnerships are no new strategy to SPSS. However, partnerships to improve staff training and education are one of the latest innovative strategies initiated by the recent addition of Corporate Nurse Karen Mitchell-Keels, MSN, RN, MSL, CMCN. St. Paul’s collaborated with San Diego City College School of Nursing (SDCC-SON) to use their nursing simulation lab to conduct a “Skills Training Boot Camp.” The premise of using SDCC’s state-of-the-art simulation lab as a training environment is to enrich the learning experiences of McColl’s Skilled Nursing Facility certified nurse assistants (CNAs) and to encourage them to further their nursing careers by providing them with a  preview of the nursing school atmosphere. The 8-hour training session was the first of many annual skills training events. The skills competency training is instructed by physical therapists, licensed vocational nurses, and registered nurses from SPSS. 

The motivation to collaborate came about during a discussion between SPSS Corporate Nurse Mitchell-Keels and the Associate Dean of San Diego City College School of Nursing (SDCC – SON), Dr. Dee Armstrong. A nursing practicum is the live application of nursing knowledge and skills in real-life situations and events. Dr. Armstrong was seeking onsite training opportunities for third-semester senior nursing students as they enter their final training phase before taking the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX) board examination. Given her previous history and experience with St. Paul’s, she knew it was the perfect match for this equation. In addition, she asserts, “I completed my clinical rotation at St. Paul’s when I was a nursing student at (SDCC – NEP), which was a great learning experience.”

The partnership between SDCC -SON, and SPSS is mutually beneficial. Karen emphasizes, “Our goal is to develop a pipeline from practicum to practice. We hope to inspire student nurses once they graduate to consider making St. Paul’s their choice for employment”. The San Diego City College Nursing Education Program has a 49-year history of outstanding student performance. Their National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX) pass rates are consistently more significant than the 90% percentile.

Here is SDCC- NEP’s passing rates for first-time exam testers over the past five years:

2016/2017 2017/2018 2018/2019 2019/2020 2020/2021
#Taken | # Pass #Taken | # Pass #Taken | # Pass #Taken | # Pass #Taken | # Pass
37 | 98.89% 52 | 98.08% 65 | 98.46% 52 | 100% 52 | 100%

St. Paul’s had their first “Skills Training Boot Camp” on Friday, August 12th, from 8:00am – 4:30pm at San Diego City College, with many more to take place.