Cooper Hospital seeks to train a new generation of compassionate caregivers

Hospital officials hope to create a blueprint for compassionate care that can ultimately be replicated nationwide.

Cooper University Hospital in Camden

Cooper University Hospital in Camden, N.J. (Mel Evans/AP Photo)

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A new training program in South Jersey aims to address a shortage of nursing professionals by training people who already have a college degree via a fast-track program that focuses on compassionate care principles.

Dr. Anthony Mazarrelli, of Cooper University Hospital, said the school’s partnership with Bayada and Thomas Edison State University is designed to take college grads and build a unique training curriculum.

The program is “very innovative and produces nurses that maybe have a little bit of a different skill set or a way of approaching things that are more aligned in what they call the Bayada way,” Mazarrelli said. “We have some fantastic nurses at Cooper and we’re excited to be able to be part of a nursing curriculum that produces nurses that are a lot like the nurses that we have now.”

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“Bayada has three core values. Two of them are compassion and excellence,” he said. “We think it’s a perfect partnership.”

The program will offer scholarship opportunities and feature both hospital- and home-based clinical education.

The training will be part of Thomas Edison’s Accelerated BSN program, with a dedicated clinical experience at Cooper. Ann and Mark Baiada, who founded Bayada Home Health Care, donated $5 million to the effort.

Mazzarelli said the goal is to come up with an experience that can be replicated at other institutions of higher learning to expand the compassionate care model nationwide.

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The first cohort is expected either this summer or fall.

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