UnitedHealth Group, University of St. Thomas Launch Executive Leadership Program to Help Shape Tomorrow's Nurse Leaders

Leading up to National Nurses Week May 6-12, the UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH) Center for Nursing Advancement and the University of St. Thomas (UST) are launching the UST Nurse Executive Leadership program.

UnitedHealth Group and the University of St. Thomas recognize the critical role nurse leaders – which include nurse executives, policy advisers, care delivery innovators and leaders in evidence-based practice – play in modernizing the U.S. health care system.  They have designed the UST Nurse Executive Leadership program to shape the leadership and business skills of nurse leaders across the profession.

The seven-day, intensive program offers courses on executive mindset, financial analysis, executive communication, collaborative leadership and systems thinking.

UnitedHealth Group, whose family of businesses includes UnitedHealthcare Employer & Individual, UnitedHealthcare Medicare & Retirement, UnitedHealthcare Community & State, OptumInsight, OptumHealth and OptumRx, is one of the nation’s largest employers of nurses with more than 7,000 in 43 states. Twenty-four nurse leaders from across the country, including six nurses from UnitedHealth Group, are participating in the program.

“Nurse leaders will continue to play a critical role in redesigning the U.S. health care system,” said Christopher Puto, Ph.D., dean of the Opus College of Business at the University of St. Thomas. “As leaders, nurses have to act as full partners at the executive level. The program prepares nurses with the leadership competencies and business acumen they need to be successful now and in the future.”

"Because nurses play increasingly vital roles in our nation's health care system, we want to help them be even more prepared to meet the expanding, unanticipated demands that go beyond excellent clinical skills and involve strong business, technological, executive communication and leadership skills," said Dawn Bazarko. DNP, MPH, RN, senior vice president, UnitedHealth Group's Center for Nursing Advancement.  "UnitedHealth Group and the University of St. Thomas have developed the UST Nurse Executive Leadership program to help nurses contribute their invaluable perspectives even more effectively at the executive level."

Statistics show that while demand for nursing professionals nationwide will grow by double digits over the course of the decade, there will not be enough qualified nurses available to fill many new positions. By 2025, the national nursing shortage is projected to rise to 260,000 registered nurses, according to a 2009 study published in Health Affairs.1

Innovating in the Nursing Field: UnitedHealth Group’s Center for Nursing Advancement

UnitedHealth Group’s nurses work in a variety of diverse roles and settings, including direct patient care, case and disease management, home care and 24/7 nurse advice lines, in addition to providing clinical and non-clinical leadership. UnitedHealth Group’s Center for Nursing Advancement helps nurses successfully navigate the demands of this swiftly evolving profession so that they can become leaders in their areas of expertise and emerge as innovators in new areas of care delivery.

Unique to the company and the profession, the center is sponsored by senior leadership, governed by business and nurse subject-matter experts, and managed by a board of directors that leads and manages development and leadership programs. Its mission is to create a culture that attracts and retains nursing professionals and supports their personal and professional development. Center programs offer nurses the opportunity and incentive to grow, drive change and innovation, and enable business success.

Recognizing Nurses’ Outstanding Contributions

UnitedHealth Group and the Center for Nursing Advancement recognize the outstanding and exemplary work and care provided by its nurses.

Throughout the year, UnitedHealthcare and The DAISY Foundation honor hospital nurses across the country with the DAISY Award for Extraordinary Nurses. This unique award supports hospitals’ recruitment and retention programs, contributes to job satisfaction and helps efforts to reduce turnover and contain the growing shortage of nurses. Since 2006, UnitedHealthcare has underwritten awards at 86 hospitals and contributed more than $125,000 to The DAISY Foundation.

The Center for Nursing Advancement annually conducts the Sages of Clinical Services Awards. This is an enterprisewide program that recognizes the important contributions of UnitedHealth Group’s nurses and raises awareness of their achievements within the company.

More information about the UST Executive Nurse Leadersuip Program»

About UnitedHealth Group
UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH) is a diversified health and well-being company dedicated to helping people live healthier lives and making health care work better. With headquarters in Minnetonka, Minn., UnitedHealth Group offers a broad spectrum of products and services through two distinct platforms: UnitedHealthcare, which provides health care coverage and benefits services; and Optum, which provides information and technology-enabled health services. Through its businesses, UnitedHealth Group serves more than 75 million people worldwide. Visit www.unitedhealthgroup.com for more information.

About the University of St. Thomas Opus College of Business
With a vision to educate highly principled global business leaders, the University of St. Thomas Opus College of Business offers undergraduate concentrations in 13 fields and master’s degrees in seven programs, including the Health Care UST MBA program. The school enrolls another 4,300 participants annually in executive-education classes.

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   1  “The Recent Surge In Nurse Employment: Causes and Implications,” by Peter I. Buerhaus, David I. Auerbach, Douglas O. Staiger, Health Affairs, vol. 28 no. 4 w657-w668, July 2009 (https://content.healthaffairs.org/content/28/4/w657.abstract)