Community Colleges That Offer Nursing Programs Near Me

Community Colleges That Offer Nursing Programs Near Me – Nursing program students (from left) Britta Carlson, Vasty Wilson and Andrea Giordano practice inserting an IV line and dressing an injured leg on a mannequin at Mount Wachusett Community College on Saturday , November 20, 2021.

During the pandemic, Emily Jones worked with COVID-19 patients as an internist at Lahey Hospital in Burlington, Massachusetts, an experience she says sparked her interest in reading.

Community Colleges That Offer Nursing Programs Near Me

Jones, 22, a nursing student at Mount Wachusett Community College in Gardner, said, “It’s nice to help those people, and they say ‘thank you,’ with this oxygen attached to them.” This is my thing. want to do.”

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While the long battle with COVID is leading many nurses to retire and increasing the current shortage, Massachusetts nursing schools are maintaining their overall status despite the challenges of small nursing classes. and teaching. But it’s a different story at state community colleges, which are struggling to stay afloat as schools that offer four-year degree programs.

A GBH News survey found that overall enrollment this fall was about 4 percent from 2019 levels, based on responses from 39 of the state’s 41 nursing programs. Northeastern University in Boston and Merrimack College in North Andover declined to participate in the investigation. The enrollment trend is a hopeful sign considering that before COVID, economists predicted that Massachusetts would be short 14,000 nurses by 2024.

“You have to think, ‘Oh, geez, you know, it’s a really scary disease, we want to prevent that.’ That’s not true,” Dr. said Kim Shea, chief nursing officer at Mount Wachusett.

One reason for the gap between demand and supply is that many state community colleges have reduced or limited their nursing programs, in part because of teacher shortages. The American Association of Colleges of Nurses reported an 8 percent increase in nursing job vacancies this year, up from 6 percent last year. Schools maintain strict limits on the number of student nurses allowed to practice – they must obtain a license – while hospitals operate under restrictions on access to their facilities to prevent to the spread of COVID.

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Based on those two factors, the report found that nursing enrollment declined in eight of the state’s 15 community colleges: Mount Wachusett, Massasoit and Brockton, Roxbury, Middlesex and Lowell and Bedford, North Shore and Danvers and Lynn, Northern Essex and Haverhill. , Springfield Technical in Berkshire and Pittsfield.

Massasoit’s enrollment dropped 19 percent because students stopped attending after classes were postponed. Mount Wachusett, where enrollment is down 14 percent, has nine full-time pastors and four vacancies.

“There’s a shortage of teachers, and we’re all working on that,” said Diane Welsh, president of the Massachusetts Association of Nursing Colleges.

Nursing teacher Judy Fredette (right) speaks to a group of students as they practice health care in a room with medical mannequins at Mount Wachusett Community College on Saturday, November 20, 2021.

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Wachusett Hill sits on an old farm on the edge of Gardner, a dirt road town 60 miles northwest of Boston. The reason is that it cannot compete with private hospitals and university fees to attract teachers and administrators. Due to the shortage, the school delayed the licensed nursing program for a year due to insufficient training for incoming students.

“This is a difficult decision to make, but it is very important that students have clinical experience,” Shea said.

John Mburo, who has worked as a nurse for the past five years at Nashoba Valley Medical Center in Groton, is expected to start the program earlier this year.

“Because of COVID, they don’t know how to get down,” Mboro said. “It’s very disappointing because I planned everything.”

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The 25-year-old Kenyan immigrant said the virus is a burden on his work and health, but he laughs from his home in Fitchburg on Zoom, he is not afraid. “It was a little difficult at first, but I got the hang of it,” he said with a handshake. She wants to attend the certified nursing assistant course at Mount Wachusett in January.

Baystate Health in Springfield, which is affiliated with Mount Wachusett and other nursing programs in western Massachusetts, has a limited number of student nurses and its staff. “I think the disease will put a serious test on the system,” said Dr. said Mark Keroack, president and CEO of Baystate.

“It’s not a kink in the hose,” he said. point.”

He said: “I am who I am. “Nothing is going to stop me from pursuing that — not even cancer.”

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Emily Jones, 22, was photographed in the hallway at Mount Wachusett Community College in Gardner, Mass., on Nov. 1, 2021.

Massachusetts requires Jones and other nursing students to meet these licensure requirements and join the workforce. Even in states with more feeding programs, Keroack said, the pipeline isn’t strong enough to keep up with attrition related to COVID. He said many veteran nurses nearing retirement have decided to leave the profession. It is up to the nurses to be fired for being politically motivated during this pandemic.

“Right now, we have 1,500 vacancies for 13,000 workers, which is a huge gap,” he said. “We are hiring about 100 to 150 people a week, but it will be months before we return.”

Nationally, two-year nursing enrollment has been declining since the pandemic, said Davis Jenkins, a community college researcher at Columbia University.

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In comparison to community colleges, Jenkins said enrollment in baccalaureate nursing programs at four-year colleges increased dramatically in the decade before COVID — and continues to do so. increasing since then. At Regis College in Weston, there was a 14 percent increase. The increase was 8 percent at Simmons University in Boston.

“One reason for this is the trend among hospitals, which is to increase the proportion of their nurses with a bachelor’s degree,” said Jenkins. “And nurses with a bachelor’s degree can go into better pay, special jobs or nursing care.”

Nursing student Amber Young-Bent hangs a “nosoring assessment” sign during class at Mount Wachusett Community College on Nov. 20, 2021.

That’s why Jenkins predicts that community colleges will continue to be very competitive for students, but they’re the easiest option for low-income, first-generation students like Mboro.

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As the pandemic subsides, state advocates are urging states to reform nursing licensure requirements by allowing new community colleges to offer bachelor’s degrees in nursing, which sought often by hospitals.

“We need to know more about building those pathways,” said John Cardova, director of the San Diego-based Futuro Health program. “It’s a patient safety issue at the end of the day.”

The idea of ​​allowing new community colleges to offer bachelor’s degrees in nursing is growing in some states. Last year, California and Arizona passed laws designed to increase the number of bachelor’s degree programs at community colleges, but in many states like Massachusetts, opposition remains. four year college in those jobs for good education and low competition.

While the state’s nursing colleges struggle to get their students the right experience, Regis College in Weston is taking a new approach to teaching. She started a nursing residency program this fall at the Greater Lawrence Family Health Center, where she converted an old dollar store on the Haverhill Mall into a new gym. One year of training as the training of novice doctors attending a hospital attached to a medical school.

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There are few such programs in the country. Residents are licensed, paid nurses, as opposed to nursing staff, who are unlicensed and unpaid.

Greater Lawrence Family Health Center has been trying to expand to Haverhill for more than 15 years, said Rich Napolitano, the center’s planning director. During the pandemic, Napolitano said the health center fills many roles. “We’re always looking to recruit new nurses,” she said.

Lesly Harris, a nurse at Greater Lawrence Health Center and professor at Regis College, met with a patient at a hospital in Haverhill, Massachusetts, as nurse Elsa Acosta Sullivan examined and recorded the October. 28, 2021.

Regis hopes to give new nurses like Elsa Acosta Sullivan, the first nurse at the hospital, the opportunity to help treat patients.

Nursing School Enrollment Stable In Mass., But Down At Most Community Colleges

Acosta Sullivan, 40, said she is waiting for nursing school until her youngest son is old enough to take care of himself. Mom is staying at home after being discharged from Regis last spring with this illness – which has had a huge impact on her opportunity to gain valuable experience. “My last hospital was for a nurse during COVID, so

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