Concordia’s accelerated plan appeals to nursing students

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Nursing students can go through comprehensive program in 16 months

PORTLAND,Ore. (KOIN) — As part of the “Great Resignation” movement sweeping the country, more and more people are evaluating opportunities for career growth and personal enrichment.

Nurses in emergency rooms who spoke with KOIN 6 News said they are slammed, overwhelmed, burned out because of the pandemic. They said Oregon and the rest of the United States need nurses, but many university nursing programs are turning interested students away.

In 2019 alone, about 80,400 prospective nursing students were left behind largely due to a lack of faculty, space and clinical placements, according to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing.

But Concordia University St. Paul in Portland addresses this need with programs that prepare future nurses to hone their technical and critical thinking skills.

Along with a rigorous curriculum, students test their skills in a safe environment while also getting practical experience as part of rotations at local hospitals.

Best of all, Concordia University said students can get this comprehensive cutting-edge training in just 16 months. Students say that is life-changing.

“Nursing is a profession that I truly believe is about giving to others and serving others — and we need people,” said nursing student Michael Atchley.

Hollie Caldwell, the dean of nursing at Concordia University St. Paul, said the timeframe is accelerated because of how they schedule.

“We go year-round, so we admit and graduate 3 times a year,” Caldwell said. “This is a very concentrated program and it becomes the main focus for those people to reach their goal.”

“I’ve wanted to be a nurse since grade school,” said April Whetsell. “It took me 42 years of my life to finally start the ball rolling and Concordia worked for me because it’s an accelerated program. So I could get in and get out and get on with my career.”

The Bureau of Labor Statistics said Oregon ranks fifth nationwide for nursing pay, with an average salary for RNs of $92,960,

Concordia University is hosting an event at 5 p.m. on August 12 to mark the official opening of
the state-of-the-art learning center.

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