A New Generation of Nurses

by Secretary Hilda Solis on February 22, 2012 · 5 comments

We just saw the great things happening in Cincinnati to train up our next generation of nurses. The average age of the registered nurse is climbing. There are more nurses in their 50s right now than any other age range. They account for almost one-quarter of our nursing workforce. So it’s critical that we prepare for these retirements and train up our next generation of nurses.

Many schools across the country have struggled to meet the rising need for more nursing professionals. With the passage of the Affordable Care Act, more than 32 million Americans will soon gain access to healthcare services, including access to care provided by registered nurses.

The American Association of Colleges of Nursing found that nursing schools turned away more than 67,000 qualified applicants in 2010 due to insufficient number of faculty, clinical sites, classroom space, and budget constraints.  Nine years ago, in response to the urgent nursing shortage, Cincinnati State Technical and Community College began a health careers collaborative with local hospitals. The goal was to train up local workers for entry-level health care jobs like office assistants and medical coders—and help incumbent workers who wanted to continue their education and perhaps become nurses.

Hospitals like Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, TriHealth, Mercy Health Partners and University Hospital all signed on. So did the Southwest Ohio Region Workforce Investment Board and a number of local nonprofits.

These partners agreed to give trainees the flexibility, support and coaching they needed to continue their education.

Now, the Cincinnati State collaboration is a national model that recently shared in a $19.7 million Department of Labor grant to replicate its winning model nationally. Those who care about fiscal responsibility, take note: This project was named by the U.S. Government Accountability Office as one of 14 best national collaborations between workforce boards and employers.

Share your story about how community colleges and industry partners are working together in your community at  http://www.whitehouse.gov/communitycollege/tour and follow  and engage with the tour on Twitter using the hashtag #CCtour.

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

1 MyBB Security February 22, 2012 at 8:20 pm

Wow, I never saw that coming. Thanks for the information guys. Really appreciate it.

2 online colleges February 22, 2012 at 8:39 pm

It’s a good thing to have a new generation of nurses. Older nurses will be retiring anytime. We must have new nurses to fill their position. Besides, nurses are very vital in healthcare.

3 cna training class February 23, 2012 at 3:52 pm

Very interesting article on the continued need for new nursing professionals

4 Shannon Hall February 23, 2012 at 4:31 pm

Hope that grant helps make more dreams come true. Currently in a nursing program myself, luckily I did not have any problems getting in. Its most unfortunate that some don’t have the same experience I did. Luckily my grades were excellent.

Best of luck to everyone!

5 Air Purifiers February 27, 2012 at 6:59 pm

It is going to so important that we have sufficient health care professionals as this first wave of baby boomers begins to retire. Sure we are staying healthier longer, but there are still a huge number of people who are going to be needing more and more health care as they age. Boomers will be hitting retirement age for the next decade and beyond, which means right now is the time to be training those nurses! thanks for the update, program looks great!

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