AHEC - North Carolina Area Health Education Centers Program
Touched by an AHEC: Stories from 100 Counties

Bonnie Pope

Bonnie Pope, RN, MSN, EdD,

director of nursing,

Forsyth Technical Community College

Forsyth County | Northwest AHEC

Clinical Teaching Associate Program

The Clinical Teaching Associate Program is a collaborative effort between Forsyth Technical Community College, Northwest AHEC, Novant Health/Forsyth Medical Center, Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center, and Winston Salem State University. To combat the faculty shortage in Forsyth County, nurse leaders from practice and education shared a common vision to move forward with thedevelopment of a course to formally educate nursing staff to become adjunct clinical faculty known as Clinical Teaching Associates (CTAs).

The first CTA class was held in August 2003. The project has now completed nine classes over the past five years. Over 202 CTAs have completed the course and of those, approximately 85% are actively employed at either Forsyth Tech or Winston-Salem State University as clinical faculty.

Bonnie Pope, RN, MSN, EdD, director of nursing at Forsyth Tech, had this to say about the program, “The Clinical Teaching Associate program has enabled Forsyth Tech to increase enrollments in both the Associate Degree and Practical Nursing programs. Clinical sizes have been reduced, which has been proven to increase positive outcomes for patients, and has been an integral part of the decrease in attrition rates in both programs. This trend has translated into higher graduation rates and therefore more potential employees for the medical centers, higher NCLEX pass rates for both programs, and a more competent and confident graduate. All of these positive outcomes ultimately converge into one critical and bottom line measure: the improvement of the quality of care given to patients.”