Forty-nine graduates of the Caribbean Adventist University (AAU) nursing program in Mayaguez, Puerto Rico, an institution operated by the Seventh-day Adventist Church, were recently recruited by the AdventHealth health system in Florida, United States. United States, thanks to a recent collaboration agreement.
Nursing graduates have received offers for full-time career development positions and will receive support with the US licensing process, as well as housing, transportation, an enrollment bonus and other benefits, university officials said.
“We are proud that our university has been selected by AdventHealth for this recruitment initiative because it recognizes not only the quality of our teaching, but also the qualities that characterize our graduates,” said Myrna Colon, president of the AAU.
AAU has been praised by AdventHealth officials for its accreditations and curricular alignment with professional competencies, and its nursing graduates as bilingual professionals prepared for service that will help them succeed in their system. The nonprofit health system operates 51 hospitals, more than 35 post-acute sites, and more than 100 outpatient sites in nine states across the United States. Officials highlighted the school’s mission, vision, and institutional values as some of the reasons AdventHealth chose the Adventist University for its partnership agreement.
The partnership between the AAU and AdventHealth was formed out of a growing need for nurses, said Stephen Smith, manager of heritage recruitment strategy for AdventHealth. “AdventHealth wanted to partner with Antillian because it felt Antillean’s mission aligned very closely with AdventHealth’s mission, which is to expand the healing ministry of Christ,” he said.
Leaders from the AdventHealth Kissimmee site in central Florida, the partnership’s pilot site, toured the university grounds during their first visit in November 2021, spoke to students about internship and residency programs, and organized a signing event where jobs were offered, Smith said. “As students nearing the end of their nursing programs, they have the opportunity to become members of the AdventHealth team as nurses or in other positions,” he added.
The two institutions have worked collaboratively in the past and continue to periodically renew certain agreements, said Amarilys Irizarry, dean of the AAU School of Health and Science. As part of the recently concluded collaborative agreement, nursing students will be offered a free test review for the NCLEX-RN exam. This exam tests the skills of graduates of nursing schools in the United States and Canada and is administered by the National Board of State Boards of Nursing, she said.
“Our graduates from the Bachelor of Science in Respiratory Therapy programs, as well as those from the nursing program, are known for their high passing scores on the licensing exam in Puerto Rico,” Irizarry said. The School of Health and Science enrolls an average of 120 nursing students and 15 students in respiratory therapy programs each year, she said.
Both institutions are committed to further developing this collaboration to include additional resources for students and a professional development plan for AAU faculty, as well as expanding opportunities for graduates, not only in nursing, but also in the respiratory therapy program, Colon said. .
Plans are underway to host an AdventHealth Career Expo in Puerto Rico soon, where officials will be on hand to conduct on-site interviews and make same-day job offers, Smith said.
Founded in 1961, Antillian Adventist University is accredited by the Adventist Accrediting Association, the Middle States Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools, and the Commission of Collegiate Nursing Education, and offers dozens of undergraduate and graduate degrees on its campus.
The original version of this story appeared in the Inter-American Division news sites.