Building the next generation of world-class nurses

by Jacqueline Davidson ([email protected]) 561 views 

From an early age, she dreamed of becoming a nurse. Now with high school behind her, she is ready to take the leap and start her career in health care. But like many of today’s graduates, she isn’t ready to make the decision yet on what to do. She wonders, “Should I be a nurse, respiratory therapist, medical laboratory technician or doctor?” And, as importantly, “Can I accomplish this while earning an income?” Without a viable option, she may have to put her aspirations on hold—at a time when our state needs health care workers more than ever.

Fortunately, there is now a solution available for Arkansans like her: the Patient Care Partner (PCP) Residency Program. Created by Arkansas Heart Hospital (AHH), this unique initiative is focused on helping individuals who want to begin their careers in our state’s medical field.

Over the course of several weeks, participants receive in-depth classroom instruction, led by seasoned AHH team members. They also obtain invaluable bedside experience in our facilities. They complete regular clinical shifts under the guidance of our hospital’s registered nurses and current patient care partners, so they are equipped to perform a variety of complex duties from day one on the job.

This opportunity requires no previous educational or work experience. Applicants simply need to hold GEDs or be high school graduates. Once they complete the PCP Residency Program, participants become official AHH patient care partners. Immediately, they’re able to begin delivering the world-class care our patients deserve—while receiving full-time income and benefits.

Doctors, nurses and other medical professionals know the health care field can be daunting. But it is even more during a global pandemic. The PCP Residency Program is part of AHH’s culture of mentorship, driven by our core value of “Teamwork with Results.” We want—and expect—employees across our facilities, from the most experienced surgeons to newly graduated nursing assistants—to work together. It’s how we will continue to develop and provide our innovative, and unrivaled, patient care services.

In our pilot PCP Residency Program we successfully trained eight new patient care partners for AHH. By continuing to invest in these types of initiatives, we will build the health care leaders of tomorrow—and ensure we provide the highest-quality care to our patients. And that’s good for our patients, their families, our communities and Arkansas’s economy. To find out more about the program or to apply, visit

Editor’s note: Jacqueline Davidson, M.S., CCRN-K, RN is the director of nursing at Arkansas Heart Hospital. The opinions expressed are those of the author.