SLU Prepares Nurses to Go Back to Work
SLU’s nursing school is refreshing the skills of nurses hired by SSM Health who have
taken some time away from nursing and want to return to their career.
“This is a win-win situation, as our profession needs these experienced nurses to
return to direct patient care,” said Joanne Langan, Ph.D., associate dean for undergraduate
education and pre-licensure programs in nursing.
“With the rapid changes in healthcare delivery, a review of practical skills allows
inactive nurses to return to practice with confidence as safe and competent healthcare
SLU’s four-week program covers basic skills including head-to-toe assessment, medication
administration, IV starts and drip calculations, simulation scenarios and content
specific to the specialty areas of participants.
“We developed the course based on the results of state and national research I conducted
with inactive nurses. I wanted to know why they left nursing and what it would take
to get them to return to practice,” Langan said.
“The curriculum in our program is based on evidence of what nurses need to know to
During their training through SLU, nurses receive practical experience on the floors
where they are hired to work, under the supervision and mentorship of SLU nursing
faculty. And, after the completion of the course, nurses begin their orientation as
SSM Health employees.
The RN Return to Practice continuing education program is growing. SLU piloted the
program with SSM Health in spring 2017, refreshing the skills of two nurses, and five
nurses graduated from the most recent class, in August. A full cohort of 10 SSM Health
nurses is expected to start in early November, Langan said.