Nursing school slots in high demand - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Nursing school slots in high demand

By Jim Wallace - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) –  National nursing organizations are urging higher education institutions not to cut back on nursing programs.

In fact, they are urging them to step up efforts to get more people to go into nursing as a career.

The Dean of the Medical College of Georgia's School of Nursing says the state will certainly face a crisis shortage of nurses within the next decade.

All three universities and colleges in Albany having nursing programs, and all say they are seeing more students interesting in nursing, because the students know there are jobs. But nursing organizations say if higher education does not increase their programs, the need will reach crisis proportions.

ASU junior Lachelle Crowe of Atlanta says she is in nursing because she has always wanted to be a labor and delivery nurse, not just because she can be assured of a good job when she graduates. "It is a plus that nursing, there is a shortage in nursing, but it is where my passion is."

Cassey Gunther of Flint Michigan says she also loves helping people, but is glad her nursing education promises a wealth of opportunity. "It does. And I know I can go anywhere, and be able to have a job."

Medical experts say with the aging population and the new national medical program, the need for nurses will skyrocket.

"That's going to bring a lot more people into the health care arena, than there used to be, because now people who didn't have access now they will have access, so they are going to be coming," said Albany State University Nursing instructor Catherine Hall.

When the economy improves, many nurses and Doctors are expected to retire or change specialities.

"So who is going to be left to take care of these people who need primary care? Nurses," Hall said.

Nationally some colleges are cutting back on nursing programs because of the lack of qualified instructors, experienced nurses can make more money in medical practice than in education. So four national nursing organizations are urging higher education to push nursing to their students. Lachelle Crowe says it's a rewarding career that promises more than just a secure paycheck.

"I genuinely enjoy caring about people," Crowe said.

And the future quality of health care in America could depend on people like her.

 Albany State has seen their number of applicants to their nursing program increase by 25 percent, Darton College has a waiting list for their nursing program, and both say they are trying to meet that increasing student demand. Albany Technical College will begin offering evening nursing classes, to expand their program to more students.

The Medical College of Georgia is increasing it's graduate level nursing programs at four campuses across the state, including Georgia Southwestern State in Americus. They will offer a master's program for students who earned their bachelor degree in another field, but now want to go into nursing.

  • Click HERE for a list of nursing jobs listed on WALB's Job Link...



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