NORTHAMPTON — The first three Cooley Dickinson Hospital nurses who were enrolled in the University of Massachusetts/Cooley Dickinson Hospital clinical partnership graduated recently from the UMass School of Nursing.
The partnership aims to retain Cooley’s expert nurses through professional development opportunities and offers advising and support for CDH-registered nurses to obtain bachelor’s degrees at the university. Another aim of the partnership is to help address the nationwide nursing shortage by developing strategies to recruit nurses for employment at CDH.
Registered nurses Mary P. Montague, Tara M. Dennis, and Tammy C. Deso completed the intensive, one-year RN-to-BS program designed to advance their careers. The nurses were reimbursed for all their expenses. The cost of the one-year nursing program is approximately $7,500 in tuition and fees, plus books.
Montague, an operating room nurse and a 1970 graduate of the Cooley Dickinson Hospital School of Nursing, says that knowing that her employer reimbursed her for the degree helped a great deal. “This is a very tough program. Knowing that CDH took care of the cost relieved the financial pressure for me.”
Deso, a nurse in the CDH Childbirth Center and a Greenfield Community College graduate, calls the degree program intense but sees it as an investment in her future.
“The additional education improves nursing and in turn increases the quality of care I can provide my patients. The RN-to-BS program allowed me to achieve a goal, something I had wanted to do for many years.”