The coronavirus pandemic has underscored the importance of healthcare workers. In Springfield, Ill. – as in many places – nursing shortages already exist.
That will, hopefully, change in the future. Lincoln Land Community College (LLCC) has teamed up with Memorial Health System (MHS) to expand nursing education. This partnership will allow LLCC to admit 90 additional students per year in the associate degree nursing program, for a total of 215 new nursing students annually.
LLCC has been providing trained nurses to MHS since the 1970s. Despite nursing shortages, demand from students wishing to enter the nursing program has grown, according to Warren. But the college didn’t have the capacity to meet that demand.
With $6.1 million in funding from MHS, LLCC will renovate a building on its campus to create a new nursing center with state-of-the-art equipment. It should be ready for occupancy by May 2021. The college also will be able to hire more faculty and staff for the program.
The partnership “aligns with both of our missions: to improve the lives and health of the people in the communities we serve, and to be responsive to community needs,” LLCC President Charlotte Warren said.
It also may keep more people in the community.
“A vast majority of LLCC nursing graduates remain in the district to work and live,” Ed Curtis, MHS president and CEO, said. “We want to continue to keep these nursing graduates in the area by providing the tools, support and opportunities to learn and grow, and enjoy long, rewarding professions.”
LLCC nursing student Haley Caise praised the partnership, saying, “more aspiring LLCC nursing students will have additional resources available to them to help them reach their dreams.”
The World Health Organization has declared 2020 as the Year of the Nurse.