Published on September 16, 2013

'Grow Your Own' Grant Will Help Hospital Enhance Healthcare Workforce

North Kansas City Hospital has been awarded a “Grow Your Own” grant from the Missouri Hospital Association to help retain and enhance the hospital’s healthcare workforce. The grant of $50,000 will be used for an RN (Registered Nurse) to BSN (Bachelor of Science in nursing) scholarship program with the goal to increase and retain baccalaureate prepared registered nurses.

The aging population, growing number of individuals with chronic conditions and expanded access to health insurance have led to increasing demands on the healthcare system. These factors and others have generated an urgent need for additional hospital caregivers. In addition, implementation of the Affordable Care Act, which includes significant changes to payments and healthcare delivery systems, coupled with new technology, such as electronic health records, has increased demand for workers with highly specialized skills.

“To help reduce turnover, enhance quality of care and retain nurses in bedside nursing, it’s important to financially assist nurses in achieving baccalaureate degrees,” says Sarah Fields, vice president of nursing and chief nursing officer at North Kansas City Hospital. “Advanced education benefits everyone as it better prepares nurses to function independently, competently and efficiently in a complex healthcare environment.”

At North Kansas City Hospital, Grow Your Own funds will be used for the new RN to BSN scholarship program, targeting associate degree (two-year program) RN employees. The goal is increasing and retaining the bachelor degree BSN (four-year program) RNs. BSN scholarships will be awarded and strategies implemented internally to help ease financial burdens, augment learning and mentor committed employees. Additionally, a new contract with MidAmerica Nazarene University will advance educational opportunities with BSN courses on campus.

“The workforce challenge for Missouri hospitals is two-fold,” said Herb B. Kuhn, MHA president and CEO. “First, hospitals must address the shortage of educated healthcare workers, including primary care physicians, nurses, therapists and imaging technicians, to meet the expanding demand for care. Second, hospital leaders also must recruit and retain talented individuals to manage increasingly complex healthcare organizations. The Grow Your Own program allows hospitals to address these challenges with plans that are tailored to the needs of their organizations and the communities they serve.”

Applications for the Grow Your Own hospital grant program were submitted in July. The applications were reviewed and selected by an independent committee composed of representatives from healthcare, educational institutions and nonprofit organizations with experience in healthcare grant development and funding processes.

North Kansas City Hospital has additionally been recognized by other prestigious organizations and earned accreditations including the Society of Chest Pain Centers Cycle III Accreditation with PCI, American College of Cardiology Foundation's NCDR Action Registry-Get With The Guidelines - platinum designation and the American Heart Association’s Mission: Lifeline® Performance Achievement - bronze designation.

About North Kansas City Hospital: For over 55 years, North Kansas City Hospital has been at the forefront of providing medical care in the Northland. The Hospital is an acute-care facility with 451-licensed beds with specialties in cardiac care, cancer care, women’s health, orthopedics, emergency services and minimally invasive surgery. They provide a full continuum of care from the highest level of neonatal intensive care to award-winning cardiovascular and orthopedic programs to home health and hospice. The medical staff includes over 550 physicians representing 49 medical specialties. North Kansas City Hospital is the first hospital in Missouri and one of only a few hospitals in the country to receive the Mission: Lifeline Heart Attack Receiving Center accreditation from the American Heart Association. In addition, the Hospital is an accredited Level III Chest Pain Center by the Society of Cardiovascular Patient Care, a major trauma center for emergency care and rated as one of the busiest adult/pediatric emergency departments in Kansas City. For more information, contact North Kansas City Hospital at 2800 Clay Edwards Dr., North Kansas City, MO 64116, on the web at, at 816-691-2000 and follow the Hospital on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Pinterest.