A big need for nurses is being felt across the U.S. – and North Dakota is no exception.
Emily Medalen tells us how one program is expanding to allow for more potential nurses in the state.
We spent an afternoon with Bismarck State nursing students as they went through a simulation course –
They told us why both students and professors decided it’s time to expand their program.
“There’s really a huge nursing shortage in the state,” says Annie Paulson, Director of Nursing, BSC.
As nursing students gather for simulation classes – they’re feeling the effect of these smaller numbers.
Bismarck State College is reaching out to meet the needs of students in smaller towns.
“We currently have a satellite site in Hazen, and in Harvey, and we’re planning to expand into Garrison and Ashley,” says Paulson.
Those students do everything online – besides making trips to be on-site for the real-life feel of simulations like this one, and it’s impacting them in a positive way.
“They’re strong nurses, and I believe that a lot of that is because of the simulation experiences that they’ve received through their education,” says Paulson.
Jessica Schaff says the more students that participate in these simulations, the more realistic it actually is – much like the chaos of a real hospital.
One of many reasons she hopes more people will consider entering the program next year.
“It’s super important, and it’s kind of the key to us being competent, capable, awesome nurses,” says Schaff.
According to the ND nursing shortage task force, there’s nearly 5% vacancy in practical nurses.
A 7.16% vacancy rate for registered nurses – and 13.44% vacancy rate among nurse practitioners.
With next year’s expansion into Garrison and Ashley.
Paulson says she’s thankful to be able to say numbers in her program are slowly rising.
“We have such a strong program here at BSC, and there’s definitely so many pros to going into this profession,” she says.
“With our nursing shortage… if it’s something that you have a passion for and you’d love to do – it’s a need for the community, and plus it benefits you as a person and helps you grow in ways you never thought you could,” added Schaff.
To find out more about the new program, click the link below.