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SCC establishes new practical nursing program through innovative partnership
The need for licensed practical nurses is growing. According to a recent report by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, there is a 44 percent projected increase need for licensed practical nurses (LPN) by 2030 in order to meet the healthcare needs of the country.
However, finding qualified, skilled LPN’s isn’t always easy. It’s a situation Health Systems, Inc. (HSI) in Troy knows well. The normal recruitment processes weren’t working to fill the many openings they had for its nursing staff, so HSI decided to try a different approach.
“We advertised and held job fairs, our upper management even tried some international recruitment,” said Lori Forbeck, Nurse Educator for HSI. “But hiring nurses, especially those to serve in rural areas, proved to be very difficult – the qualified nurses just weren’t available.”
Forbeck reached out to the Missouri Board of Nursing for guidance. Her goal was to establish a new practical nursing program in the state in the Troy area. The Board recommended she reach out to the St. Charles Community College Practical Nursing Program for help. Not long after, a new partnership was formed.
“The St. Charles Community College and Health System Inc. partnership is innovative in design and collaborative in approach,” said Amy Koehler, dean of SCC’s nursing and allied health. “As an academic institution, we recognized the need to create and expand employer partnerships that strive to meet growing workforce demands.”
“This partnership is a great example of businesses, educators and the Missouri Board of Nursing working collaboratively to address the nursing shortage, especially in our rural communities,” said Lori Scheidt, executive director of the Missouri Board of Nursing.
HSI provided the nursing program with training facilities in close proximity to their long-term care facility in Troy. St. Charles Community College is utilizing ITV equipment to remotely connect students to their classes at the main campus. Additionally, a nursing faculty member is also stationed at the Troy expansion site to oversee theory, lab and clinical instruction, as well as providing support for nursing students.
HSI employees, currently working in health-care related positions, are offered the opportunity to complete the practical nursing program with financial support from their employer.
“The program is serving the needs of both the company and our students, many of who would not have otherwise been able to pursue higher education,” Forbeck said.
“Collaborating with HSI has allowed us the opportunity to offer greater access to quality education in rural communities while working to satisfy workforce needs in our region. I look to these innovative partnerships to shape the future of healthcare education,” said Lindy McGuire, director of operations for the SCC Center for Healthy Living.
The SCC Practical Nursing Program is designed to prepare licensed practical nurses who administer safe, patient-centered nursing care in beginning staff nurse roles in hospitals, nursing homes, clinics, doctor's offices, health care facilities and home settings. Graduates are awarded a certificate of achievement in practical nursing and are eligible to apply for the Practical Nurse Licensing Examination.