Celebrating Nurses at Community Health Centers

National Nurses Week, May 6-12, is a time to celebrate and commend the invaluable work that nurses do every day, and the exceptional care that they provide to patients across the country and around the world. At Community Health Centers (CHCs) in Colorado, nurses are integral members of the care team and provide the first line of defense in the prevention of illness and injury. They are the backbone of the primary care delivery system, and are recognized by CHCs as such. Are you a nurse? If so, CHCs are not only rewarding places to work, providing care to underserved populations in health professions shortage areas, but also innovative in their business models, providing excellent opportunities for growth and leadership throughout one’s nursing career.

CHCs in Colorado and nationally are embracing team-based care as the preemptive model for improving primary health care outcomes amid ongoing health care reforms nationwide. In turn, registered nurses and advanced practice nurses are being given more and more opportunities for autonomy and career advancement at CHCs than in the past. CHCs in Colorado are at the forefront of this shift, enabling primary care nurses to advance their careers through leadership trainings, continuing education, and innovative opportunities for professional growth. For nurses interested in team-based care, patient-centered medical home, as well as those potentially interested in operational management and leadership positions in a primary care setting, CHCs may be a perfect fit.

Within our CHC network, nurses are leading care teams and spearheading innovative approaches to patient-centered care. Sheridan Health Services, for example, is a nurse-managed federally qualified health center that provides primary medical, dental, and behavioral health services to underserved patients in the Denver area.  In addition, nurses at Clinica Family Health have successfully implemented and led group visits for a variety of chronic diseases and shared medical concerns. Many other CHCs have also empowered nursing staff to pioneer care groups for diabetes, hypertension, and chronic pain management. It is no surprise that nurses at Colorado CHCs have used their skills and influence to start immunization clinics, develop new processes for managing referrals and lowering no-show rates, revamp work flows, and lead health and wellness initiatives in their clinics and communities, among many other achievements.

Currently there are over 40 job openings for RNs or Nurse Practitioners at Colorado CHCs, and CHCs continue to recruit nursing staff on an ongoing basis. As an added perk, nurses who work at CHCs qualify for nursing education loan repayment awards through NURSE Corps and NPs qualify for loan repayment through CHSC. For current job openings at CHCs in Colorado, visit the Mission Driven Careers Job Board, or the CHAMPS Job Board for Region VIII openings (Colorado, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah, Wyoming, and Montana).

Are you interested in a mission driven career that helps make a difference in patients’ lives? Check out the Mission Driven Careers Job Board or the CHAMPS Job Opportunity Bank for more information about rewarding careers with a Colorado CHC. To learn more about Colorado’s CHCs and other great work they are doing, visit CCHN’s website.

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