Centralized Clinical Placement System

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Centralized Clinical Placement System:
Increasing Nursing Enrollment Through Technology Support

In the early 2000s, the Bay Area found itself faced with a nursing shortage. Health care providers, nursing educators, and the Foundation responded, building a technology tool that would expand regional collaboration and go on to strengthen nursing education across the nation.

In 2003, California’s aging and expanding population combined with the subsequent growing demand for nurses led to the state’s ratio of registered nurses per capita being the lowest in the nation. The problem was particularly acute in the San Francisco Bay Area due to its tremendous growth. Nursing education programs faced faculty shortages and capacity constraints, in part due to the limited number of clinical placements they could offer students, and these constraints resulted in student admission of only 45% of qualified applicants. Educating 70% of California’s new registered nurses each year, the California Community Colleges were poised to be part of the solution.

Responding to this nursing shortage, the California Health Care Foundation awarded a grant to HealthImpact (previously the California Institute for Nursing & Health Care). Gleaning insights from nurses and other medical experts, HealthImpact worked to develop strategies for building and expanding nursing education capacity. Their team partnered with the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation and asked:

How could we leverage technology to increase nursing student enrollment while simultaneously streamlining the clinical placement process?

Funded by a generous grant from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, an advisory committee was formed in October 2004 to respond, resulting in an idea that would help improve the state’s nursing education infrastructure: the Centralized Clinical Placement System (CCPS).

Leveraging the investment from the Moore Foundation, the Foundation for California Community Colleges joined the taskforce and partnered with HealthImpact to develop this pioneering tool.

Regional Pilot

After months of development, the Foundation launched the CCPS pilot program in 2005. CCPS aggregated school and clinical provider information in an online tool that centralized communication and exposed untapped clinical opportunities, enabling schools and clinical providers to achieve a higher level of operating performance. With CCPS, participating community colleges could rapidly match their clinical placement needs to provider availabilities.

In the innovative spirit of Californians, we were fortunate to work with the Foundation to create CCPS to facilitate and support the significant expansion of nursing programs to solve the shortfall problem we were facing in California. Helpful and significant upgrades to CCPS have made the tool even more valuable to academic institutions and clinical partners in managing student credentialing and placements.

Garrett K. Chan, President and CEO, HealthImpact, the California Nursing Workforce Center

CCPS was integral to strengthening and improving nursing education across the state, providing California nurses access to clinical hours and the skills, knowledge, and training needed to earn their degrees. By 2009, new nursing student enrollment in the Bay Area specifically had increased by 47% and student clinical hours more than doubled.

Expanding Nationally

Today, CCPS 2.0 provides simple scheduling, detailed reports on previous placements, and increased clinical and allied health opportunities. In 2019, the tool was expanded to include easy compliance tracking, ensuring clinical sites can easily define standard and custom rotation requirements, and schools can efficiently manage student and faculty compliance.

CCPS is easy to navigate and the online tool works well in a range of clinical settings. Using CCPS allows our partners to focus more time developing strong relationships to ensure sustainable access to clinical education opportunities for our students.”

Liane T. Muraoka, Program Lead, Hawai’i State Center for Nursing

While the tool was initially developed to serve the 4,500 registered nurses that graduate from California Community Colleges each year, it’s value was quickly recognized both outside of California and across other institutions of higher education. CCPS now supports approximately 600 schools, clinics, and hospitals across six different states — including California, Florida, Hawaii, Texas, South Carolina, and Ohio (Tri State area).


Schools and healthcare provider sites using CCPS to streamline nursing education

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Incorporating feedback from its nationwide community of users, the Foundation’s in-house technology development team continues to innovate and implement tool changes, ensuring CCPS best serves all regions seeking to strengthen their clinical placement processes. Further tool enhancements to expand how allied health programs can use CCPS are underway.

Learn more about CCPS >

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For over two decades, the Foundation has worked to support innovation and excellence in higher education across the California Community Colleges. As we honor our 20 year anniversary, we are reflecting on the progress we have made and the partnerships we have built along the way. Throughout 2019, we will be sharing some of the bright spots along our journey through telling “20 Stories of Impact”. These defining moments highlight the work of our organization and recognize the partners in the public sector, philanthropy, and the individuals that have been essential to the success of our work.

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