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Monday, June 24, 2024

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ACCC Nurse Grads Find Jobs Aplenty

By Rick Racela

COURT HOUSE – Atlantic Cape Community College is looking to dispel any rumors about its competitive nursing program with a series of information seminars.
The most recent session was held yesterday at the Court House campus and was open to students and residents who were considering entering a field currently facing critical short-ages.
Glenda Stogel, a college recruiter who ran the session, said that she was so grateful to get a chance to provide students on the Court House campus with an overview on the entry program, what they can expect from the RN program, and information on a future career.
Barbara Warner, chairperson of the nursing and allied health program at ACCC told the Herald that since 2004 enrollment has doubled.
“We’ve experienced a big response to the nursing shortage in the area,” she said. “We have 170 students in the program.”
The supply of registered and licensed practical nurses in the state show a shortfall of nearly 30 percent by the year 2020 according to the state board of nursing.
According to Warner, once students complete the two-year program career opportunities are “wide open.”
However, a lack of certified nursing educators is reportedly one of the major contributing factors to the nursing shortage in Cape May and Atlantic counties.
Warner told this newspaper one of the most difficult aspects is maintaining a staff that meets the state’s approval.
“We have to keep one instructor with a MSN per every 10 students. Right now we have 17 staff members,” said Warner. “We definitely have an acute shortage of instructors with their masters in nursing.”
According to the Registered Nurse Population Survey, only 7.5 percent of nurses nation-wide have a master’s degree in nursing and only 13 percent of those are employed as edu-cators. Only 1.9 percent of those surveyed listed a nursing education institution as their primary employment setting.
The program has to turn many students away each semester because of the teachers are “just not out there.”
Stogel said because the program is selective many prospective students have been the sub-jected to myths and rumors that may sway them from pursing a nursing career.
“A big part of my job is to clarify what the program is really about and what is required for a student to be admitted,” said Stogel. “For example both grades and the entrance exam are important for entry.”
“I don’t know what type of rumors have been generated in the hallways. We have to keep them positively focused,” she added.
Stogel said that ACCC is working with groups such as the Nurse Workforce Solution Pro-ject that are part of a “connected effort to reduce the nursing shortage.”
Stogel will conduct a third session on Nov. 14 from 5:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. at Mays Land-ing. An allied health career planning program is scheduled at Court House on Dec. 5 from 5:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.
For more information or to pre-register for a session, call 609-343-5048 or 609-463-4774 ext. 5048.
Contact Huggins at: lhuggins

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