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Nurse shortage: Oklahoma revamps nursing course to speed up licensing

Posted at 8:19 PM, Jan 14, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-15 11:44:39-05

TULSA, Okla. — A profession frequently in demand is nursing.

The shortage goes beyond the pandemic and carries on into 2021, now, with the hope of relieving the critical need, a new effort is launching in Oklahoma.

The state revamped its nurse refresher course for nurses without an active license. The competency-based program is partly online. It can also be done in less than half the time it typically took.

“We are, obviously, in an unprecedented situation,” said Lara Morris, State Program Manager of Health Careers Education for the Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology Education.

However, it is not just the pandemic taking its toll on nurse counts. According to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing, a significant segment of the nursing workforce is nearing retirement.

“As baby boomers retired, we were going to need more nurses for over 10 years. We’ve been talking about this,” Morris said. “We’ve had committees, we’ve had people working, we’ve expanded our nursing programs, but the bottom line is, we still don’t have enough people to man the floor.”

They are hoping the new course is the saving grace. Morris said they already received hundreds of interested callers.

“We really do know that there’s a lot of people out there who want to help and fulfill their destiny of being a nurse," she said.

The state cut the price of the course down by $600. It is now $2,000. The communications department for Hillcrest HealthCare System said they would consider covering the cost for future employees.

For more information about the Nurse Refresher course, click here.

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