Aug 13, 2013 9:59 PM by Erin Steuber
A new program at South Louisiana Community College will help fill a growing need within Acadiana's healthcare industry. SLCC, along with several local partners, announced a new registered nursing program 8 years in the making. Lafayette General, Lourdes, Women's and Children's hospitals and LEDA put up a half million dollars to fund the program. And with registered nurses being one of the most in-demand jobs in Louisiana, this program is coming at the perfect time.
Starting in spring of 2014 SLCC will be the third school in Acadiana that provides a registered nursing program. A program that is greatly needed to help fill demand.
"The demand is so great that, realistically, all of the hospitals are competing against each other for those nurses," said Chief Nursing Officer at Women's and Children's, John Marker.
Statewide, thousands of eligible nursing students (1,453) are turned away each year because there is simply no room for them. SLCC's nursing program will graduate 60 students a year.
"They all want to become RN's. So now, instead of being on a huge waiting list somewhere else in the state, or having to move out of state, or ultimately never achieving that dream, they can do it right here at home," said SLCC Chancellor, Natalie Harder.
The two-year associate degree program will feed into UL's four year program.
"What this does is it gets nurses registered quicker than doing a four year program," said Marker. "So they can become a registered nurse faster and finish off their bachelors degree later on."
The new program means a new building that will house all of their health care and science programs.
"One of the things that I've learned is that the closer to home, the more the nurses will want to stay home so they don't migrate out," said Marker. "But this program will actually help all of Acadiana by providing the extra nurses that are needed."