Waitlist for CVTC nursing students despite future nurse shortage - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Waitlist for CVTC nursing students despite future nurse shortage

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Eau Claire (WQOW) - An Eau Claire college is feeling the pressure of a rising demand in health care.

"In the Chippewa Valley we do not see the nursing shortage nearly as badly as other areas of the country," said Associate Dean of Health for CVTC, Linda Krueger.

But that shortage is coming.

"I am absolutely convinced that in the next five to six years we're going to see it just as much as everyone else is," said Krueger.

Even with the potential nurse shortage coming there are students who can't get in to school to be a nurse.

"Our wait list varies," said Krueger "typically it's about one to two years, usually what happens during that time is the student takes their general education courses"

But if that student is someone looking for a career change and already has a degree. It's much more of an actual wait.

"They would have to take our nursing assistant course and they might have a little additional course work but basically they would just be put on the wait list like all the other students," said Krueger.

Nationwide more than seventy five thousand qualified nursing school applicants were not admitted to four year schools, with some of those students turning toward tech schools.  That puts more pressure on CVTC to find clinics and hospitals where the students can practice the skills they learn in the classroom

"We juggle our admission numbers based on the jobs but we can only grow so much based on the clinical sites available to us," said Krueger.

With so many students and so few spots CVTC and UW-Eau Claire have been working together to help provide more opportunities for students.

"We admit 16 students every fall that are UW-Eau Claire students," said Krueger "so they come to CVTC and complete our two year nursing program and then they go back to UW-Eau Claire to finish their four year degree."

The nursing shortage affects every part of the nurse work force from the employer, the educator, and the student and they're all working together to meet the needs of the future

"This is probably the first time in many many years that there is a strong collaborative effort," said Krueger.

Currently CVTC has a wait list of about 150 students between the Eau Claire and River Falls campuses.

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