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Norton Healthcare In Louisville To Begin Innovative Apprenticeship Program For Nurses

Photo: Kentucky Labor Cabinet

Gov. Matt Bevin and Labor Deputy Secretary Mike Nemes joined officials from Norton Healthcare in Louisville last week to announce a new apprenticeship for nurses that is one of the first of its kind in the country.

This Student Nurse Apprenticeship Program is a paid apprenticeship that provides educational and clinical experiences over 12 to 18 months to prepare students for a registered nurse role after graduation. Eligible students include nurses who are in their junior year of a Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing program or with one semester completed of an associate degree in nursing program.

“Innovative training programs, like this one at Norton Healthcare, deserve to be celebrated,” said Gov. Bevin. “I have challenged Kentucky employers to think and act boldly, and Norton Healthcare has answered that challenge in an impressive way. This apprenticeship program is one of the first of its kind in the country and will be transformational for Norton’s workforce. I believe it will inspire other employers around Kentucky to explore ways that apprenticeships can take their business—and Kentucky—to the next level.”

With just over 70,000 active registered nurses currently in Kentucky, it is projected that an additional 4,500 nurses will be needed in the next 10 years to meet demand. The 125 new apprentices in this program will both provide Norton Healthcare with an effective workforce recruitment and training tool while also displaying the potential that this could bring to other healthcare providers across the county.

“The ‘Kentucky Trained. Kentucky Built.’ registered apprenticeship initiative encompasses a new era of apprentice able trades never before seen in the Commonwealth, and today provides a fitting example of this,” Labor Secretary Derrick Ramsey stated. “Nursing is a new frontier for apprenticeships, but with Norton Healthcare’s vision, we couldn’t be more excited to partner with them and the new student nurse apprentices who are taking advantage of this wonderful program to further their careers. It’s a win for Norton Healthcare, the apprentices, and the entire healthcare community as we continue to seek ways to address the workforce needs in this critical industry.”

Serving the Greater Louisville region and beyond for more than 130 years, the hospital and health care system is the Louisville area’s third largest private employer. The Louisville-based not-for-profit system includes five Louisville hospitals with 1,837 licensed beds; seven outpatient centers; 13 Norton Immediate Care Centers; more than 14,000 employees; more than 850 employed medical providers; and approximately 2,000 total physicians on its medical staff.

“We know the value in having highly trained nurses and other professionals to help us meet the health care needs of our community,” said Russell F. Cox, president and chief executive officer, Norton Healthcare. “By offering an apprenticeship for nurses, we not only help individual students reach their goals, but we help ensure we continue to have these highly trained professionals.”

“This program will reinforce nursing education and awareness of the professional nurse role, as well as help increase the students’ self-confidence and understanding of organizational structure and operations within a world-class health care setting,” said Tracy E. Williams, DNP, R.N., senior vice president and system chief nursing officer, Norton Healthcare.

This program will work in conjunction with the student’s school of nursing while learning hands-on experience with a Norton Healthcare mentor. Upon completion of the training program, the apprentice will receive a nationally recognized certification allowing employers, such as Norton, to better meet expectations of their patients through a highly-skilled and trained workforce.

The “Kentucky Trained. Kentucky Built.” initiative, launched last year, signals Kentucky’s recommitment of new energy and resources toward strengthening apprenticeships across Kentucky. Since last November, the number of apprentices in Kentucky have increased by 39 percent. In total, the Kentucky Labor Cabinet has registered nearly 1,100 different programs with employers including a new emphasis on growing trades within the healthcare and information technology sectors.

For more information on Registered Apprenticeships, visit

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