Henderson, Nev. To combat Nevada’s nursing shortage, the Nevada System of Higher Education (NSHE) has made it its mission to increase Southern Nevada’s nursing enrollment. And Nevada State College, which currently enrolls 511 pre-nursing and nursing students in its undergraduate program, is playing a major role in those efforts.
In fact, Nevada State’s nursing program has graduated more than 270 people 70 just this past summer since its first graduation ceremony in 2005.
Students are finding our nursing program to be a good fit for their needs, which is a promising thing to see, as their education will have an overall positive impact on our entire community, said Dr. Fred Maryanski, president of Nevada State College the newest member of NSHE.
Nevada State’s nursing program, which began in fall 2003, is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education until 2010. (It will re-apply for accreditation in fall 2009.)
However, there’s still more work to do. As of March 2004, Nevada employed 604 nurses for every 100,000 residents a ratio only better than California’s at 590 nurses per every 100,000 people, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services National Sample of Registered Nurses. States such as Arkansas, Delaware, Iowa, Maine, Minnesota and more ranked at 1,000 nurses for every 100,000 people.
If this trend continues, the United States nursing shortage is expected to grow to a 36 percent demand shortfall by 2020, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services September 2004 study titled What is Behind HRSA’s Projected Supply, Demand and Shortage of Registered Nurses?
NSHE officials are already implementing strategies to combat those projections. Overall, NSHE has seen a 176 percent increase in enrollment in its undergraduate nursing programs since its base year in 2000-2001 increasing from 623 students in 2000-01 to 1,717 students in 2005-06.
Officials plan to continue that trend, in part, through a proposed nursing and science building for Nevada State. The building will be the second constructed on Nevada State’s more than 500-acre campus in the foothills of Henderson. (The college’s Liberal Arts & Sciences building, which is currently under construction, is the first.) The nursing and sciences building are currently in the design process.
State Sen. Warren Hardy said the college is having a direct impact on the quality of life in the state and its importance will only increase as the college continues to thrive.
Nevada State College belongs in our community, Hardy said. The growth of the college over the last several years is evidence that its programs are needed, in demand and something we should all support.
Through this effort and others, NSHE officials project to enroll 3,140 nursing students (both undergraduate and graduate) by the 2012-13 school year an increase in nurses needed to support Nevada’s growing population.
Nevada State College opened its doors to students in September 2002 after the Board of Regents and the Nevada Legislature determined the need for enhanced educational opportunities in Southern Nevada in 1997.
NSC offers progressive bachelor’s programs in several in-demand fields of study as well as a low student-to-professor ratio and competitive tuition rates.
For more information on Nevada State College, call: 702.992.2000 or visit: nsc.edu.