We all have a busy schedule, so living a healthy lifestyle can be a challenge. Watch Healthy Living Today with JR Havens and Alyssa Marino to learn about healthy eating, exercise, and overall wellness. Catch Healthy Living Today every Monday on Country Morning Today.
Nursing School Answers State`s Shortage of Nurses
Nurses are in demand across the country, and North Dakota is no exception. As more clinics open up in and around Bismarck and western North Dakota, even more nurses are needed. Medical reporter Michelle San Miguel tells us what Sanford Medical Center is doing to recruit to them.
Dozens of nurses joined the ranks of Sanford Medical Center after graduating from the hospital`s nursing program in May.
Samantha Richter is one of them. She`s spent the past three months working in the hospital`s orthopedic and neurosurgery floor and says it`s been pretty nonstop.
"The census is really high. We`re always busy. There`s always something to do and the beds seem to be always full," Richter said.
This year Sanford plans to hire an additional 50 to 60 nurses, and that`s not counting the open positions being left by nurses who will be leaving or retiring.
"It is a concern," said Sanford Chief Nursing Officer Jan Kamphuis. "Not necessarily today, but I think about let`s fast forward three to five years. The community and the growth that we`re seeing locally makes me think we`re going to need to really increase the workforce."
But the challenge isn`t just finding nurses. Kamphuis says it`s also difficult to recruit faculty members.
"By the year 2020, 50 percent of the nurses will be retiring that are in the workforce now," Kamphuis said. "So to capture nurses and want them to go into academia is a challenge for us. We have a great, great group of instructors and hoping to add to that pool so that we can increase our students over the next few years."
This school year the Sanford School of Nursing increased its enrollment capacity by almost fifty percent. And Kamphuis says she expects the enrollment capacity to keep going up over the next several years.
Nurses like Morgan Neer know their skills are in high demand, but Neer says job security isn`t what attracted her to this career path. It was the relationship she could have with her patients.
"Nurses are the closest you can get, basically," Neer said. "You spend hours upon hours with your patients and so that`s why I decided to be a nurse. Plus my mom`s a nurse, and she`s kind of my hero."
And as the number of patients continues going up, recruiting and retaining nurses will be at the top of the hospital`s priority list.