Norton program increases tuition assistance for students as push to address health care worker shortage

The health care field and its need for employees recently reached crisis levels with Gov. Andy Beshear declaring a state of emergency over Kentucky’s nursing shortage. Now, the commonwealth is also seeing an alarming shortage of clinical positions like lab techs and respiratory therapists. Norton Healthcare is taking steps to fill the void and ease the strained industry by increasing tuition assistance for students seeking degrees in registered nursing, respiratory therapy, or laboratory sciences.”The student has the choice of school, and they can get up to $40,000 as long as they’re pursuing one of those degrees,” said Kim Blanding, director for the Norton Healthcare’s talent acquisition and workforce development. “Anybody that has that calling to go into health care, who wants to serve the community, we can remove those barriers for them.” Data from local hospital systems show nursing and clinical roles make up the majority of their job openings. Baptist Health’s Floyd, Indiana campus has 94% of available clinical positions. Registered nurses make up 45% of their open positions in Louisville and 20% in Lagrange. UofL Health currently has more than 800 openings, and Norton says their open positions constantly fluctuate. But, to boost employment and meet the demand Norton is financially supporting students who seek to fill those vacancies.”It really does ease the stress of having that financial burden on top of the stressful course load that we have,” said Britta Eden. “It’s a one year accelerated program, so we’re working nonstop.”Britta Eden and Nicholas Hayes are two of the 60 Norton Scholars at Bellarmine University. Although working in health care during an ongoing health crisis could be difficult, they say the need for their service in the community outweighs the challenge.”Getting to the see the positive outcomes of the work that we do and the effect that it has on them and their families is rewarding,” Hays said. Amid a nationwide teacher shortage, the medical students at Bellarmine will get the full instruction experience.”I think it’s a challenge in finding good clinical instructors, but we are so blessed,” said Christy Kane , dean of Bellarmine’s Donna and Allan Lansing school of nursing and clinical sciences. “A lot of our alums come back, and a lot of our graduate students come back to be clinical instructors.” An effort to invest in education, the future of health care, and bridge a long-standing workforce gap.” The health care shortage is going to impact all of us, so it’s important that we have qualified health care providers that are out there taking care of our community,” Kane said. Norton Healthcare partner with local institutions such as Bellarmine University and Galen School of Nursing on the initiative. The program requires a post-graduation work commitment. It also offers various career resources, such as coaching, interview training, and resume writing.

The health care field and its need for employees recently reached crisis levels with Gov. Andy Beshear declaring a state of emergency over Kentucky’s nursing shortage.

Now, the commonwealth is also seeing an alarming shortage of clinical positions like lab techs and respiratory therapists.

Norton Healthcare is taking steps to fill the void and ease the strained industry by increasing tuition assistance for students seeking degrees in registered nursing, respiratory therapy, or laboratory sciences.

“The student has the choice of school, and they can get up to $40,000 as long as they’re pursuing one of those degrees,” said Kim Blanding, director for the Norton Healthcare’s talent acquisition and workforce development. “Anybody that has that calling to go into health care, who wants to serve the community, we can remove those barriers for them.”

Data from local hospital systems show nursing and clinical roles make up the majority of their job openings. Baptist Health’s Floyd, Indiana campus has 94% of available clinical positions. Registered nurses make up 45% of their open positions in Louisville and 20% in Lagrange.

UofL Health currently has more than 800 openings, and Norton says their open positions constantly fluctuate. But, to boost employment and meet the demand Norton is financially supporting students who seek to fill those vacancies.

“It really does ease the stress of having that financial burden on top of the stressful course load that we have,” said Britta Eden. “It’s a one year accelerated program, so we’re working nonstop.”

Britta Eden and Nicholas Hayes are two of the 60 Norton Scholars at Bellarmine University. Although working in health care during an ongoing health crisis could be difficult, they say the need for their service in the community outweighs the challenge.

“Getting to see the positive outcomes of the work that we do and the effect that it has on them and their families is rewarding,” Hays said.

Amid a nationwide teacher shortage, the medical students at Bellarmine will get the full instructional experience.

“I think it’s a challenge in finding good clinical instructors, but we are so blessed,” said Christy Kane, dean of Bellarmine’s Donna and Allan Lansing school of nursing and clinical sciences. “A lot of our alums come back, and a lot of our graduate students come back to be clinical instructors.”

An effort to invest in education, the future of health care, and bridge a long-standing workforce gap.

“The health care shortage is going to impact all of us, so it’s important that we have qualified health care providers that are out there taking care of our community,” Kane said.

Norton Healthcare partners with local institutions such as Bellarmine University and Galen School of Nursing on the initiative.

The program requires a post-graduation work commitment. It also offers various career resources, such as coaching, interview training, and resume writing.

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