Some hospital officials say nurses are one of their most important needs but they say here in Eastern Kentucky, they're facing a shortage. Now one college is trying to ease the crunch and train new nurses.
One hospital says nurses are in high demand. Now, National College in Pikeville is starting a new associate degree nursing program. The goal is to get more nurses in Eastern Kentucky and in turn, help people get good paying jobs.
Administrators at Highlands Regional Hospital say they can never have enough nurses.
"Nursing is a vital part of patient care. They play the largest part in the day to day care of the patients," said Deitra Hackworth with Highlands Regional Medical Center.
But they can't always find the nurses they need.
"Nurses are in such a demand. It's difficult to find nurses sometimes to fill the positions that we have open," Hackworth said.
She says other hospitals and doctor's offices in Eastern Kentucky have the same problem. National College directors in Pikeville took note and are starting a new nursing program, to help end the nursing shortage.
"Having more nurses not only benefits the Eastern Kentucky area, but also on a more personal level, it benefits myself, my family," said Tammy Riley, National College Campus Director.
People are already signing up. Interested students Elliott Vanhoose and Leanna McIntosh are looking for well-paying jobs in the sluggish economy and think nursing is the answer.
"Gas prices the way they are, and you got to think in terms of rent, and food, and stuff like that for your child, so money is an aspect of it. There's always going to be sick people who need help, so there's always going to be jobs available," McIntosh said.
The National College program plans to graduate 40 new potential nurses a year. Students are expected to stay and work in Eastern Kentucky after they're certified.
The program takes two years and students can take either day or night classes. National College is already taking applications for the first class this fall. If you're interested, you can call 606-478-7200.