Aug 15, 2013 7:15 PM by Allison Bourne-Vanneck
Next spring, South Louisiana Community College will kick off its new RN program, and the economic impact could mean millions for Acadiana.
The program was created with the help of three health care providers which include LGMC, Regional Medical Center of Acadiana and Our Lady of Lourdes. All contributed a total of 500 thousand dollars to start the new RN program.
"We have had an acute need for registered nurses in Acadiana for a number of years," SLCC Chancellor Dr. Natalie Harder said.
Harder says the new RN program will not only provide work force solutions, it's bringing a significant economic impact to the region.
"If you take a look, the average registered nursing salary is about $65,000. I mean you're talking almost a four million dollar impact just in salaries alone," Harder said.
SLCC is aiming to expand enrollment in its RN program, and hopes to branch out to other parishes. The Lafayette Economic Development Authority says an RN is a top ten demanded job in Acadiana.
"We estimated at one time years ago, when we started this process that if we filled all of the positions in the area, we'd create a 50 million dollar economic impact just by filling those existing positions," L.E.D.A. President and C.E.O Gregg Gothreaux said.
With the financial help of area hospitals, the program has come to fruition, helping those that want the education, and providing hospitals with the help they need.
"If you can start with competing hospital systems working on a solution, than I don't see why we can't do that in every other industry sector that we have here," Harder said.
SLCC's new RN program is still months away from starting, but the 40 spots for next semester have already been filled. SLCC says hundreds are on the waiting list, and tuition is a little more than 16 hundred dollars a semester for full time students. For more information on applying to the program, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org