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Nursing program expands at MPCC

Nursing program expands at MPCC
Mid-Plains Community College nursing students Ashley Barnhart, Jordan Goodell and Sammie Gutherless, all of North Platte, put the skills they learned in the classroom into practice Wednesday. MPCC has expanded its Associate Degree Nursing program to counteract the nursing shortage within its service area.


Mid-Plains Community College has expanded its Associate Degree Nursing program in response to the nursing shortage happening both regionally and across the country.

A total of 32 students were admitted to the ADN program this semester as compared to 24 in the past. Another eight Licensed Practical Nursing students will bridge in come March – for a graduating class of 40 in 2020.

“The primary reason we expanded the ADN program was because of local demand,” said Dr. Kathy Harrison, MPCC director of nursing. “No matter where we go in our 18-county service area, the feedback we get is that hospitals and other health care facilities need more registered nurses.”

A report from Economic Modeling Specialists International (EMSI) shows there were 907 registered nurse positions open in MPCC’s service area this year. That figure is anticipated to jump to 976 by 2023 due in part to an increased emphasis on preventive care, growing rates of chronic conditions and demand for health care services from baby boomers.

EMSI lists the median earnings for registered nurses in MPCC’s service area as $29.52 per hour. The acceptance of more students into the ADN program at Mid-Plains means those currently residing in MPCC’s service area can stay close to home while training for a lucrative career.

“We are pleased that Mid-Plains Community College continues to support the needs of the health care community in this way,” said Fiona Libsack, Great Plains Health chief development officer. “The nursing shortage has made staffing a true challenge across the nation and has most certainly affected us here at home. Mid-Plains has been an excellent partner, focused on collaboration and solutions, as we work together to ensure quality health care is available as close to home as possible.”

From the student perspective, the ADN program at Mid-Plains will remain relatively unchanged aside from adding more seats. The curriculum is the same as is the eight-to-one student-to-faculty ratio in the clinical area, thanks to the hiring of Alma native Addie Schaeffer as a new nursing instructor.

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