Nurse training program wraps up before Koda opening - Owatonna MN: Owatonna Peoples Press

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Nurse training program wraps up before Koda opening

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Posted: Tuesday, December 18, 2012 3:20 pm | Updated: 8:30 pm, Tue Dec 18, 2012.

OWATONNA — About 20 registered nurses have finished a post-acute care refresher course to prepare them for the opening of the new Koda Living Community facility in February.

In July, the Minnesota Job Skills Partnership awarded Riverland Community College a $100,000 grant from the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development for a post-acute care nursing competency training project in Owatonna.

Amy Wangen, who deals with training and development at Riverland Community College, said the program was designed to make nurses more confident in their abilities.

The 20 nurses were split into two groups of 10. Each nurse was required to take 40 hours of training, eight hours a day over a five-day period. The first group started at the end of November and finished on Dec. 3, and the second group started shortly after that and finished on Dec. 18.

Kim Grinnen, a registered nurse at Cedarview Care Center going to Koda in February, said the training is helping refresh her skills.

“It’s a nice review,” Grinnen said. “It’ll help our transition go smoothly.”

The project partners Riverland, the Benedictine Health System and the Koda Living Community, with a significant link to the Owatonna Hospital and Allina hospitals and clinics.

Benedictine Health System provides long-term skilled nursing, post-acute, assisted living and memory care through its participating organizations in 35 communities across seven states, according to a Riverland press release. Koda, which is an entity of Benedictine in Owatonna, will provide long-term skilled nursing and post-acute care.

Deb Jeranek, a registered nurse from Benedictine, said the purpose of the training centralizes around health care reform.

“Hospitals are releasing patients sooner, so they need someplace they can stay,” Jeranek said. “That means we’re going to see a lot more serious things.”

The training — which was developed by Riverland in consultation with the Owatonna Hospital and Allina — was customized to the needs, standards and procedures of the local hospital, and included classroom training, online learning components, simulation and job shadowing.

“The simulation and training helps us recognize diagnoses and be able to handle them before the patient needs to be hospitalized,” said Kim Hinchley, a registered nurse at Cedarview.

Roschelle Manigold, Riverland nursing faculty member, said the training also allows the Koda nurses to become familiar with hospital policy and procedure.

“It will show patients that they are getting the same care they would be getting if they were still in the hospital,” she said.

In July, Wangen said the four goals of the project are to support patient safety and recovery, increase career advancement opportunities for workers, decrease re-hospitalizations and increase the capacity to have post-acute care training in the region.

Terry Schneider, Koda Living Community’s administrator and CEO, said Koda will have about 20 registered nurses working in the new facility, all of which will be post-acute care trained. She also said the licensed practical nurses will be trained as they go.

“We didn’t want to do it too far in advance,” Schneider said. “For the RN’s we are doing the last minute up-to-date training, so they can see how it is done at the hospital to provide continuity of care.”

Schneider said those who are hired to work in Koda between now and February won’t have the post-acute care training when it opens but will participate in other classes.

Wangen said there will be a week-long training in March for some Benedictine Health System nurses, Koda nurses as well as other staff working at the facility.

Koda was originally slated to open early January, but because of some setbacks won’t be opening until mid-February. Although the registered nurses from Cedarview transferring over to the new building were trained now to prepare for the January opening, Schneider said the delay makes no difference.

“It’s just a nice refresher course,” she said.

Reach reporter Ashley Stewart at 444-2378 or follow her on @OPPashley

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