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University Hospitals, Kent State Address Nursing Shortage in Northeast Ohio Through New Nursing Education Program
University Hospitals and Kent State University are joining forces to address the ongoing nursing shortage in Northeast Ohio through a new Nursing education initiative that will increase the number of baccalaureate-degreed nurses who enter the workforce each year.
This program will better meet the needs of students, employers and the community and will serve as a model for other communities around the United States who face similar challenges. Specifically, the program will tackle the challenges that nursing students face at every stage of their education and careers by:
- Instituting an additional cohort of students in Kent State’s BSN program to be admitted each year. UH will support these students in the following ways:
- Expanding financial support by means of the UH Nursing Scholars program, which will provide $12,000 in financial support to 20 students for their senior year at Kent State, contingent on their employment with UH for at least two years after graduation
- Recruiting experienced UH nurses to serve as clinical instructors for the program
- Increasing availability of required clinical placements through additional rotations at UH facilities
“University Hospitals is excited to enhance our existing relationship with Kent State University and expand the opportunity to bring more individuals into the nursing field,” says UH Chief Human Resource Officer Thomas Snowberger.
“The University Hospitals Scholars program will provide critical financial support for students, diverse clinical sites in the University Hospital system, and expand the opportunity for more students to experience the excellent education offered at Kent State University College of Nursing,” notes Barbara Broome, Ph.D., RN, FAAN, Dean, Kent State College of Nursing. “It will provide diverse clinical sites, employment opportunities and additional financial support for committed students.”
By 2020, the Nursing Forecaster of the Center for Health Affairs estimates that Northeast Ohio will need at least another 2,850 nurses to care for the rapidly aging local population. Nationally, those estimates rise to nearly one million additional nurses needed to adequately care for the total number of patients.
A significant percentage of these nurses will require the additional education and experience gained from a four-year degree, the BSN, to handle the increasingly complex healthcare needs of a growing population of older patients. In fact, the Institute of Medicine has issued a recommendation that 80 percent of the nursing workforce have a baccalaureate degree by 2020. Northeast Ohio’s percentage is approaching 40 percent, thus this bold collaboration will provide a strong boost toward the national goal.
When the UH-Kent State program reaches full capacity, it will produce an additional 80 BSN graduates annually.