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March 28, 2013

Bassett chosen among best health workforce training programs

Staff Report
Cooperstown Crier

---- — Bassett Medical Center was among 11 hospitals recently recognized for having one of the best health workforce training programs in the country, according to a media release.

The Hitachi Foundation selected the latest winners under its Pioneer Employer Initiative. Launched by the foundation in 2008, the Pioneer Employer initiative finds examples of successful programs by hospitals, health care providers and businesses that use creative education and human resource strategies to save money, improve efficiency and help low-income frontline workers find employment in fields with a future.

The release said, through the Pioneer project, Hitachi studied Bassett’s Partnership for Nursing Opportunities program, which has been highly successful in grooming frontline workers, recent high school graduates and dislocated workers for careers in nursing. The PNO program is also credited with helping improve Bassett’s nursing retention rate to 75 percent, according to the release. 

The release said the PNO program affords successful applicants the opportunity to access education, develop leadership skills and ultimately pursue a career in nursing. For individuals who want to follow the registered professional nurse to bachelor’s track, the PNO program pays the students’ tuition.   

Frontline workers comprise more than half of the health care workforce, which underscores the need to invest in their training and development. The Pioneer study found that facilities that did so improved retention of valuable employees and were able to address mid-level staffing shortages, while improving the skills of frontline workers. The case studies are available at

The Pioneer Employer Initiative was a partnership of the Hitachi Foundation, the Healthcare Association of New York State, the Health Work Force Institute at the Washington State Hospital Association, and University of North Carolina Institute on Aging.