Shared learning environments for unregulated care provider education in long-term care: Innovative approaches and key considerations
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Long-term care (LTC) or nursing homes often experience difficulty recruiting passionate, competent and confident graduates to add to their teams. Few graduates are well-prepared for working in LTC environments and they do not often stay long. In an effort to strengthen the LTC workforce, we established a collaboration with a LTC and retirement living organization and a community college to develop a Living Classroom. In this novel approach, college students attend an accredited LTC home for all learning. The purpose of this paper is to describe the Living Classroom program, with unregulated care provider education as the specific application, so that others can also explore the possibility of developing a Living Classroom with their partners. This paper also describes the importance of changing the way we currently understand workforce education and graduation challenges and see these as opportunities to take action and share innovation and development. Investing in applied and meaningful education with immediate knowledge transfer to the future work setting will help to enhance the future workforce required for seniors care.
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