The Women's Institute for a Secure Retirement (WISER) and the American Nurses Association (ANA) are partnering on a financial education program for nurses. The initiative was funded by the FINRA Investor Education Association.
Through the new Nurses' Investor Education Program (NIEP), specially-trained nurse educators will provide lessons in financial planning and investing to nurses through in-person workshops in their communities.
Also available is a wide range of printed material and online resources to empower nurses to deepen their financial knowledge and sophistication.
The workshop curriculum and additional resources were developed over the course of the project and tested in pilot workshops in mostly rural communities in five states, namely Virginia, Nebraska, South Dakota, Missouri and Maine.
"When we first surveyed more than 900 nurses in 2008, we learned that nurses generally are wary of 'outsiders' and mistrustful of educational seminars in which financial professionals would try to sell them something," said WISER President, Cindy Hounsell. "But the overwhelming majority (83 percent) indicated they would attend a free, unbiased workshop if it was offered by a professional nursing association."
The WISER and ANA initiative includes 10 nurse trainers who act as "trusted messengers" and lead nurse-specific education workshops. The trainers conducted 29 workshops sponsored by the nurses' associations in the five participating states. More than 700 nurses attended those workshops. The results have been strong, positive and promising.
"Our initial survey showed that only about 6 percent of nurses felt knowledgeable about financial planning, while 96 percent felt it was important to increase their investment knowledge," said Wylecia Harris, Chief of Staff of the ANA's Special Projects Office.
"Not only were these workshops well-attended, but post-workshop evaluations showed increased understanding of investment and retirement factors, including key financial terms like dollar cost averaging and financial instruments like immediate annuities."
Even more important, according to the partnership, the post-workshop evaluations reflected a changed mindset.
"Nurses spend their entire professional lives taking care of other people, not taking care of themselves," Harris said. "Post-workshop evaluations show convincingly that participants recognized the need to put their retirement security above other financial goals, making it a route to independence and a means of not becoming a financial burden on their families as they age."
For more information, visit www.wiserwomen.org and www.nursingworld.org.