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More Nurses Needed in Field as Shortage Continues

DES MOINES, Iowa – Mercy College of Health Sciences said the community is in need of more nurses due to a recent number of retirement increases.

Dean of Nursing at Mercy College of Health Sciences Nancy Kertz said students are having a hard time finding a clinical spot during their schooling.

“There are more students than clinical spots available, and as a result some programs use some of their clinical hours in simulation because they don’t have access to clinical practice,” Kertz said.

A clinical is a supervised lesson in a real-world health care environment.

Kertz said the simulations is the process where a student works in a scenario hospital with a manikin and not real people in a hospital.

“While they are very helpful and important in nursing education and other type of health care education, it doesn’t totally replace the clinical experience and that human interaction,” Kertz said.

Kertz said the school provides clinicals for all of its students because of its partnership with Mercy Medical Center.

Kertz said each clinical setting requires eight students to one teacher.

According to The Labor Market Information Division of the Iowa Workforce Development there will be 525 new registered nurses needed in Iowa and an additional 755 job openings that will need to be filled by 2024.

Mercy College of Health Sciences offers five different paths to become a nurse, those include:

  • Accelerated 12-month BSN program
  • 3-year Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program
  • Evening and weekend Associate of Science in Nursing (ASN) program
  • Online RN to BSN with $2,500 completion bonus
  • Paramedic to BSN Bridge program

The school is open to accepting more students into its nursing program to help fill the gap.

Mercy College of Health Sciences has about 400 students in its nursing program.