Amber Reed/For the Broadside
Healthcare is a hot topic, especially now when nurses are in such high demand. The baby boomer generation is reaching an age where they need more care, especially now that we are in the midst of a pandemic. Not to mention the many nurses that are reaching retirement age. So, to accommodate this increase in demand the Oregon State Board has allowed for an expansion of Central Oregon Community College’s nursing program. COCC will be working with St. Charles to include one additional group of eight students into the program.
This expansion will increase the class size from 48 students to 56 students. It will also mean that COCC will be hiring a new part time instructor to accommodate the addition of new students. Many would say that this change is long overdue seeing that the last expansion of this program was 11 years ago in 2009. It is safe to say that the program has not been keeping up with Oregon’s ever-growing population.
According to a news release from COCC, applicants have risen by 20 percent since 2017 and it is estimated that an additional 371,500 nurses will be required in the United States by 2028. It is also cited that there is a huge issue with the nurse to population ratio especially in Multnomah County, where there is only one nurse for every 68 people. This is even worse in Wasco County where there is one nurse for every 89 people.
COCC’s nursing program has proven to have great track record especially in recent years regarding the passing rate for the National Council Licensure. Where the school’s passing rate is in the 95% range, exceeding the national average of 88%.
The news is exciting for school officials, who are eager to admit more applicants into such a competitive program.
Amber Reed is a student at Central Oregon Community College. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org. This story was produced as part of Publications Lab, a COCC course, and not by staff of The Broadside, an independent, student-run news organization located on the COCC campus.