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To fill the industry pipeline, Minnesota colleges and universities are finding ways to make health care education more accessible to students. The state’s population is growing and becoming more diverse, and baby boomers are retiring from medical sector jobs and requiring more health care as they age. To meet this expanding demand for care, the number of health care workers in the US will need to increase by 30 percent by 2020 – totaling more than 400 jobs.

Minnesota will also need more health care workers, from clinicians to educators and administrators. In response, colleges and universities in the state are finding ways to make health care education more accessible by creating programs that move faster, happen online, serve rural and ethically diverse communities, engage older students, and disseminate good ideas quickly.

In addition to a general shortage of health care workers, Minnesota also has a shortage of nurses. St. Catherine University in St. Paul is trying to help address the issue by adding new ways to educate nurses, particularly those above the traditional college age.

Kim Dinsey-Read, interim dean of nursing and assistant professor of nursing at St. Catherine’s Henrietta Schmoll School of Health, tells, “We’ve added a bachelor’s program in nursing to our College for Adults. Often students already have a degree or a lot of transfer work, and they’re often older than traditional college students, with families and adult lives.”

The university also offers a master’s degree program for students who already have bachelor’s degrees in other subjects and want to become entry-level nurses. Students in both adult nursing programs do most of their work online, aside from lab work and clinical placements which occur at hospitals around the Twin Cities. St. Catherine’s nursing educator program is also entirely online which has increased enrollment. The university has seen proof that making it easier for more nurses to earn their degrees helps boost enrollment and ease the nursing shortage.

See also
Arizona State University Offers Community-College Transfer Program to Reduce Tuition for Nursing Students

To learn more about the many efforts being made by Minnesota colleges and universities to offset the shortage of health care workers in the state, including nurses, visit here.

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