MANCHESTER, Ky. — There are new efforts underway to combat the ongoing shortage of nurses in Kentucky and across the nation.
What You Need To Know
- A new partnership with Eastern Kentucky University and Somerset Community College will help students interested in nursing pursue an associate’s degree
- Leaders from both schools signed a memorandum to establish the agreement
- SCC officials said at least 25 students will be accepted into the program right off the bat
- Classes begin January 2023
A new partnership with Eastern Kentucky University and Somerset Community College will help students interested in nursing pursue an associate’s degree.
Leaders from both schools signed a memorandum to help establish the agreement on Monday.
“We truly believe that education is the key to opening the door for opportunity,” said David McFaddin, president of Eastern Kentucky University. “And we are all committed, all of us on this stage, all of us who serve in that capacity to making sure that we have a world-class education right here in Kentucky for a P3 post-secondary education and that is our commitment to you.”
Starting in January, the first class of nurses will begin their studies at EKU’s Manchester Campus in Clay County.
“We’re hoping to get students at Laurel first. They will get the first admission cycle, which starts on July 1,” said Vicki Conaway, who’s a registered nurse and holds a Master of Science in Nursing.
Conaway’s helping set up the nursing program at EKU’s Manchester Campus.
“We’re hoping to be able to give their letters out for them,” Conaway said. “So that there will be time if we have some that are not fit or not, or were not able to be accepted into the Laurel program, that they will still be able to consider the Manchester program.”
In December 2021, Gov. Andy Beshear signed an executive order to help combat the shortage of nurses.
This partnership between EKU and Somerset Community College aims to help fill the growing void.
“Obviously, we have an emergency order coming from our governor that is in place,” Conaway said.
She said the solution starts with having quality students who are driven to become nurses.
“Getting people who really want to be in health care. That’s the first step,” Conaway said. “The second step is equipment. It takes a lot of money to run a nursing program. Anyone who will tell you that and so you’ve got to have the equipment. And the third area that I hope that they’re going to be addressing is the need for nursing faculty.”
That last point is so a new generation can teach young students and a faculty that can also help continue to grow the field.
“We need to have some opportunities, stipends, or some other grant money or something that is available to help get quality nursing faculty,” Conaway said.
In the first year of the program, SCC officials said at least 25 students will be accepted into the program.