GSW aiming to address nursing shortage

Published: Dec. 10, 2021 at 7:43 PM EST
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AMERICUS, Ga. (WALB) - Starting next year, students at Georgia Southwestern State University (GSW) can get an associate degree of science in nursing (ASN).

“We are truly in crisis mode in terms of producing enough graduates to meet the workforce needs,” said Dr. Sandra Daniel, dean of the GSW College of Nursing Health Sciences.

Daniel said the pandemic, work stress and retirements have all highlighted the urgent need for nurses across the country.

Southwest Georgia is not immune to that problem.

Daniel said it’s a concern for those of us who don’t work in health care as well.

“Will I have the providers who are needed to take care of me when I enter the health care setting,” she said.

The ASN program is two years, so they say it will help get nurses into the workforce more quickly.

Students will take half the core and nursing curriculum required for a bachelor’s of science in nursing (BSN).

“They are getting the core common courses that any nursing program would deliver,” Daniel said.

Once they get their degree, ASN grads can apply to become a registered nurse, just like those who get their BSN.

Daniel said she hopes students getting their associate’s degree will stick around to help Southwest Georgia.

“It’s more typical for the students to be living in the community in which they will eventually practice,” she said.

GSW had an ASN program up until the year 2000 when it transitioned into a BSN program.

Daniel said the university wants to adapt to what’s vital for people’s health.

“So, I think we’ve been very responsive to projected and actual demands and needs in the workforce,” Daniel said.

The ASN program will start in fall 2022.

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