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IU Health awards Ivy Tech $8.75M to increase capacity for nursing programs

By Justin Hicks, IPB News | Published on in Education, Health, Local News
A student practices on a mannequin while training to become a certified nursing assistant. (Justin Hicks/IPB News)

IU Health is giving Ivy Tech Community College $8.75 million to expand its nursing programs across the state to address a growing shortage of nurses in health care facilities.

The funds are earmarked to increase nursing student enrollment and support services and increase recruitment and compensation for faculty and staff. Ivy Tech has a goal to admit 600 more nursing students each year by 2025.

Based on past trends, it estimates 90 percent of those graduates will stay in the state.

Mary Jane Michalak is vice president of public affairs for the statewide community college network. She said, due to limited teaching staff and clinical sites, Ivy Tech had to turn away around 300 students this academic year who were qualified to start a nursing program.

“We need more nurses,” she said. “And there’s people out there, right now, who want to be nurses and they have applied to nursing programs and they can’t get in because we don’t have the space.”

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Currently all but one of Ivy Tech’s 19 campuses have nursing programs. The last, in Hamilton County, is slated to start in 2023.

Contact reporter Justin at jhicks@wvpe.org or follow him on Twitter at @Hicks_JustinM.