Hospital, college partnership plans to fight nurse shortage

Nursing school partnership announced
Published: Mar. 31, 2022 at 5:12 PM EDT
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CONNECTICUT. (WFSB) - A partnership between a major hospital and several colleges may fight the growing nurse shortage.

The partnership between Yale New Haven Health, Southern, Quinnipiac, Fairfield, and Gateway Community College promises to graduate at least 557 additional nurses over the course of the next four years, in addition to nursing students already enrolled at the four schools.

Third year nursing students at Southern Connecticut, Eirenie Athanasoulis and Angela Broadway, can’t wait to turn their passion for taking care of others into a profession.

Starting this summer, others will be able to join them

Athanasoulis said, “this is so exciting and I’m so happy so many other students are going to get this opportunity.”

Yale New Haven Health Chief Nursing Executive Beth Beckman said, “that’s enough additional new grads to pretty much staff an average sized hospital.”

Yale will also provide faculty to help instruct the nursing students, along with $1.7 million each year for scholarships and books for students who otherwise wouldn’t be able to attend school, including those who are turned away because of lack of space.

“We get more applicants that we can accommodate. Gateway usually get about 400 applicants for 96 seats, so there are many qualified students out there that are not getting into nursing programs,” said Gateway Community College Director of Nursing Shiela Solernou.

Expanding access also means diversifying a workforce.

“We weren’t sure how the pandemic would impact interest in nursing profession. Nurses were heroes throughout this entire pandemic, we saw them, they masked up they put goggles on,” Dean of Fairfield University Egan School of Nursing Meredith Wallace Kazer said. “We thought that might deter people from interest in the profession, it’s the opposite, they want to come they want to be nurses so it’s up to all of us to increase that educational capacity to build that pipeline and put more nurses into the profession.”

Nursing school partnership announced