Licensed practical nurses who want to become registered nurses — a position that requires more training and typically offers better pay — can fast-track their careers through a new program on the adult side of the Miami Valley Career Technology Center.
The new program is a 12-month, 50-week process that gets current LPNs the requirements to sit for an RN board test. It’s a way to get more RNs into doctor’s offices, long-term care facilities and hospitals, said Nick Weldy, superintendent of MVCTC. The first class will begin in August.
“We’re really just taking and focusing on that one year of nursing to get people a job quicker,” he said.
The program is in-person Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the MVCTC campus in Englewood, with an online class scheduled for Friday. The program costs $14,584 for the year.
The schedule should allow students in the program to work at least part-time or work around the school day, Weldy said.
“MVCTC’s investment in our healthcare workforce is one of the critical partnerships that will help us meeting the demand for healthcare workers now and in the future,” said Sarah Hackenbracht, president and CEO of the Greater Dayton Area Hospital Association. “Their new model of a 12-month LPN to RN program will help our region ensure we have the depth and breadth of nursing expertise in our region’s hospitals and healthcare facilities.”
Peter Van Runkle, executive director of the Ohio Health Care Association, which represents long-term care facilities, said long-term care needs more workers at every level, from nursing to kitchen workers. But he said he hopes the program can help alleviate some of the problem.
“It’s like a drop in the bucket, because we really need a lot more RNs,” he said.
MVCTC is the latest program that has added or expanded nursing. Sinclair Community College, Cedarville University and Kettering College all have recently added to or expanded their nursing programs.
Weldy said he has spoken with doctor’s offices, hospitals and long-term care facilities who all say they can’t seem to get enough nurses. But every part of the medical care system needs more workers, he said.
“All of our career technical programs at the high school level, just as fast as we can put students out, there’s opportunities that they’re willing to pursue,” he said.
Weldy said the program is one of the few in the region that specifically allows LPNs to become RNs. Associate degree programs like Sinclair Community College’s or bachelor’s degree programs like Wright State University’s allow anyone to apply to their programs.
Weldy noted the MVCTC program doesn’t confer a degree, and anyone who wants a degree would need to go through another institution. He said the MVCTC’s current LPN program works the same way.
The American Association of Nursing Colleges cites Baby Boomer retirements as part of the nursing shortage, along with not enough programs to train workers. Weldy said he goes into places that are having a problem recruiting but sees the problem immediately: getting younger people in the door.
“Everybody we saw in your institution has gray hair or no hair,” Weldy said. “You have to work on getting the youth in here.”
Students who want to be part of the program must attend an information session and complete a financial aid form. Call 937-854-6297 to register for an information session. MVCTC will stop taking applications for the program July 14 or when the program is full.
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