Avamere at Bethany and Concorde College

COVID-19 changed a lot about the world. For the nursing field, it also meant students weren’t getting real-world experiences through clinical experiences.

Now, two years after the start of the pandemic, Avamere at Bethany has launched a clinical preceptorship for nursing students seeking this crucial experience.

Afra Mayfield, Regional Director of Operations with Avamere Communities, collaborated with the Dean of Nursing from Concorde Career College, Jessica Sotiriou, MSN, RN, to welcome students who are enrolled in the practical nurse program and need to complete their clinical.

They started organizing the program with Concorde Career College’s Portland campus in fall 2021 and launched just a few months later in June 2022.

“We’ve been very fortunate to be able to partner with Avamere of Bethany for our students’ preceptorship experience. From day one, Avamere has welcomed our students with open arms. After speaking with Kris and Jeff, I knew Avamere shares our eagerness to pour into our students the knowledge we’ve learned, to empower them to be the best nurses they can be. We look forward to the continued magic of this partnership,” said Jessica Sotiriou, Regional Dean of Nursing at Concorde Career Colleges, Inc.

The senior living community currently has one student, Rosaura Figueroa, who is just about to complete her clinical experience. They expect five more students to begin the program.

The nursing clinical experience

The students report to Kris Ebora, RN, Director of Nursing with Avamere at Bethany.
“Kris takes the lead and makes it happen,” said Jeffrey Mason, Executive Director with Avamere at Bethany. “She is the key player in this program.”

The students experience real-world nursing under Kris’ direction, including skin assessments, fall assessments, level of cares to establish services needed, and more.

“Nursing students are so excited to get out there and be nurses,” Kris shared. “I find it energizing to share that with them.”

Nursing opportunities in senior living

Of all the students joining the program, not one had previously considered community-based care as a career opportunity.

Community-based care, or senior living, is person-centered care offering retirement living and care services to meet each individual where they are. This could include assistance with daily living activities, medication management, and more.

Rosaura is completing her clinical experience in memory care and now wants to pursue a career in community-based care, whereas before this program she was considering a surgery or medical setting.

“We’re empowering them to get that clinical piece missed during COVID-19, while also providing insight into community-based care,” stated Jeffrey. “We’re opening doors into a career they never considered.”

LPNs within senior living have several career path options, including assistant director of health services, resident care coordinator, Arbor administrator, and more.

“It’s a great opportunity for advancement,” Kris shared. “And you’re making a huge difference in the lives of seniors.”

Avamere at Bethany is considered the “flagship for training,” according to Kris.

“The sky’s the limit,” she shared. “I’m so happy to have these nursing students. I can’t wait to see where this takes us.”

The future of the clinical preceptorship

This is a mutually beneficial program. Avamere at Bethany has the extra nurses on staff to care for residents, Concorde Career College is able to offer a clinical experience in senior living, and the students gain nursing experience.

“It’s extremely helpful on our end, and helpful on their end as it’s a much-needed piece,” Jeffrey stated.

Jeffrey and Kris are collaborating with Jessica to expand the clinical preceptorship in hopes to welcome medical assistants.

Work with purpose at Avamere, where you can enhance lives! Visit AvamereAtBethany.com.

Follow Avamere at Bethany and Concorde Career College on Facebook to keep up with more exciting news.