schools, hospitals unite in plan to curb medical staff shortages
david wahlberg - staff
thursday, july 11, 2002
a new $4.55 million program by the university system of georgia and hospitals throughout the state aims to curb the shortage of nurses and other medical workers by promising jobs to people who enroll in education programs that are expanding.
the health professionals initiative, announced wednesday, involves 13 colleges and more than 20 hospitals, which plan to train and hire 510 new workers over the next two years. of those, 474 will be nurses, 22 will be pharmacists and 14 will be medical technologists.
the state is committing $2.1 million to the colleges, and the hospitals are contributing an estimated $2.45 million.
some of the hospitals are offering scholarships, and loans of up to $10,000 a year are available, said university system spokeswoman arlethia perry-johnson.
the georgia hospital association said in a study released in february that the statewide nursing vacancy rate was 13.3 percent, up 38 percent from 1999.
metro atlanta had a rate of 14.9 percent and the augusta area 19.3 percent.
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south carolina: hospitals plan cure for scarcity of nurses
hospitals plan cure for scarcity of nurses
area groups will announce gift to midlands tech to boost number of health professionals
by joe guy collier
the midlands three major hospital systems will announce today a collaborative gift of $1.05 million to the midlands technical college foundation.
the gift, which will be given over five years, is the largest ever for midlands tech. it hits an issue faced by all of the hospitals: a shortage of nurses and health care professionals.
palmetto health, which runs palmetto richland and palmetto baptist hospitals, will provide $500,000. lexington and providence will each donate $250,000.
the money will be used to establish endowments for midlands technical college's nursing and health sciences programs. the endowments will help pay student expenses and salaries for masters-degreed faculty.
barry russell, president of midlands technical college, said the money will help the college meet the need for more nurses and health care professionals.
midlands tech awarded last year 141 associate degrees in nursing - more than any other two-year college in virginia, north carolina, south carolina and georgia.
"we're pleased and delighted the hospitals have stepped in to provide support," russell said. "we view this as a partnership in addressing a critical shortage."
in recent years, palmetto health, providence and lexington medical have become intense competitors, but the hospitals came together on the need to train more nurses and health care professionals.
south carolina, like the rest of the united states, is facing a nursing crunch.
the long hours of nursing, difficulty in attracting males to the profession, and the lack of qualified instructors for nursing schools have all led to the shortage.
a study released earlier this year by the university of south carolina's school of nursing said the state, which has 33,700 registered nurses, needs 5,000 more nurses. in less than 15 years, the shortage could triple, the study said.
to serve the needs of the community, the hospitals must work with midlands tech to close the gap, said steve purves, president and chief executive of providence hospital.
"it's a huge issue and a huge problem," purves said. "we've got to take steps to proactively address it."
while the hospitals often compete against each other, they all agree on the need for more nurses, said kester freeman, president and chief executive of palmetto health.
"we all have vacancies (for nurses)," freeman said. "we all have shortages."
the gift should attract more students to midlands tech's nursing and health care program, helping the hospitals and those they serve, he said.
"we need to get the word out and let high school kids know this is a great way to spend their life," freeman said. "when they make a decision, we need to make sure they have a place to be trained."
reach collier at (803) 771-8307 or email@example.com