Local colleges partner together to tackle nursing shortage - WNEM TV 5

Local colleges partner together to tackle nursing shortage

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(Source: WNEM) (Source: WNEM)

Hospitals and medical facilities across the nation are facing a critical shortage of nurses.

At the same time, many schools are turning away thousands of qualified applicants. They are over capacity and don’t have enough teachers for the high-demand nursing programs.

Working as a nursing student is a lifelong dream for many college students. But that aspiration is getting harder to obtain.

“Our seat count went from 80 to 64 that we can accept twice a year,” said Rebecca Myszenski, dean of health sciences at Mott Community College.

She said the board of nursing has changed the number of students a teacher can have at a time. She said it was done as a safety measure.

“That created a restraint with the amount of clinical sites that we would need to accommodate that many clinical rotations,” Myszenski said.

According to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing, the enrollment for nurses in 2016 had an increase of just 3.6 percent. They said that is not enough for the future needs of healthcare.

The association said more than 64,000 qualified applicants were turned away from nursing programs.

Myszenski said that is not the only issue.

“Not only are we seeing an increase in baby boomers population medical needs for them, but also the amount of retirees that I’m getting on my end with baby boomer nursing faculty,” Myszenski said.

Mott is partnering with other colleges and universities to help students get into nursing programs.

“We are collaborating with local colleges and universities. Sharing some of the talent because we’re all experiencing the clinical and faculty shortage,” Myszenski said.

She is optimistic local schools can turn the future of nursing around. She said 97 percent of the nursing students at Mott pass the national council exam and can work right away.

“We do a really good job here at getting students placed in occupational programs where they’ll have good wages,” Myszenski said.

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