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Atlantic Health System Gets Federal Grant for Nursing Education

May 25, 2023

$2.75M will fund AHS PEACE program, helping recruit and train the next generation of nurses


MAY 25, 2023, MORRISTOWN, NJ – Atlantic Health System is pleased to share it has earned a grant of more than $2.75 million from the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) as part of the department’s Nursing Expansion Grant Program. Atlantic Health joins only 25 organizations across the country (and is one of only two in New Jersey) in receiving a share of $78 million in total funds distributed.

The money will fund the establishment of Atlantic Health System’s Pathway to Ensuring Access and Clinical Excellence in Nursing (AHS PEACE), an innovative, new program designed to expand and diversify the pipeline of nursing professionals, practicing at the top of their licensure, to fill positions that are in high demand. AHS PEACE will institute professional pathways for Registered Nurses (RNs) in acute care and critical care specialties, as well as development of clinical pathways for nursing assistants. Included among the candidates for these positions will be candidates from historically marginalized and underrepresented populations. According to the DOL, the nation’s health care system faces an average shortage of 203,200 nurses, every year from now until 2031.

“At Atlantic Health System, our commitment to providing extraordinary care to every patient requires us to continue recruiting and educating the best team in health care,” said Suja Mathew, MD, Executive Vice President, Chief Clinical Officer, Atlantic Health System. “AHS PEACE will be a significant catalyst to our work on nurse and health care worker training and recruitment, health equity, and community and academic partnerships. We look forward to supporting members from all of our diverse communities in their pursuit of careers in health care, and we remain steadfast in our goal of addressing workforce shortages in New Jersey.”

AHS PEACE will support the creation of approximately two thousand nursing jobs through the recruitment of graduating high school students, college-level undergraduates, and entry-level incumbent healthcare workers. Partnerships with area colleges and universities, workforce development agencies and non-profits, will help raise awareness of the program and offer access to large pools of potential candidates.

“Nurses make up the single, largest group of professional team members at Atlantic Health System and are essential members of the care continuum across all of health care,” said Trish O’Keefe Ph.D., RN, Senior Vice President, Chief Nurse Executive, Atlantic Health System and President, Morristown Medical Center. “Nurses have always served on the front lines of care, as a patient’s most direct connection to needed health care services. This program, funded through an incredible opportunity from the Department of Labor, will help Atlantic Health bolster those front lines while welcoming hundreds of new health care workers to the most rewarding career imaginable.”

To learn more about the DOL’s Nursing Expansion Grant Program, visit the Department of Labor’s website here. To learn more about opportunities at Atlantic Health System in nursing or a wide variety of other professions, please visit the Atlantic Health System careers website.


About Atlantic Health System

Atlantic Health System is at the forefront of medicine, setting standards for quality health care in New Jersey, Pennsylvania and the New York metropolitan area. Powered by a workforce of 19,000 team members and 5,440 affiliated physicians dedicated to building healthier communities, Atlantic Health System serves more than half of the state of New Jersey including 12 counties and 6.2 million people. The not-for-profit system offers more than 400 sites of care, including its seven hospitals: Morristown Medical Center in Morristown, NJ, Overlook Medical Center in Summit, NJ, Newton Medical Center in Newton, NJ, Chilton Medical Center in Pompton Plains, NJ, Hackettstown Medical Center in Hackettstown, NJ, Goryeb Children’s Hospital in Morristown, NJ, Atlantic Rehabilitation Institute in Madison, NJ and through its partnership with CentraState Healthcare System in Freehold, NJ.

The system includes Atlantic Medical Group, part of a physician enterprise that makes up one of the largest multispecialty practices in New Jersey with more than 1,600 physicians and advance practice providers. Joined with Atlantic Accountable Care Organization and Optimus Healthcare Partners they form part of Atlantic Alliance, a Clinically Integrated Network of more than 2,500 health care providers throughout northern and central NJ.

Atlantic Health System provides care for the full continuum of health care needs through 24 urgent care centers, Atlantic Visiting Nurse and Atlantic Anywhere Virtual Visits. Facilitating the connection between these services on both land and air is the transportation fleet of Atlantic Mobile Health.

Atlantic Health System leads the Healthcare Transformation Consortium, a partnership of six regional hospitals and health systems dedicated to improving access and affordability and is a founding member of the PIER Consortium – Partners in Innovation, Education, and Research – a streamlined clinical trial system that will expand access to groundbreaking research across five health systems in the region.

Atlantic Health System has a medical school affiliation with Thomas Jefferson University and is home to the regional campus of the Sidney Kimmel Medical College at Morristown and Overlook Medical Centers and is the official health care partner of the New York Jets.