MWSU Masters Program Aims to Remedy Nursing Shortage

Published 07/17 2014 04:56PM

Updated 07/18 2014 11:06AM

(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) A new masters program at Missouri Western State University hopes to address a nursing shortage.

The Department of Nursing and Allied Health will begin offering nurse educator graduate classes this fall.

"It is critical for us to sustain a qualified workforce within the profession of nursing to meet society and our nations health care need," said Dr. Carolyn Brose, MSN program director.

A new study shows nearly 80,000 qualified nurse candidates were turned away from graduate programs because there simply weren't enough nurse educators.

Because of this, nursing schools are struggling to meet the demand which is also causing a nurse shortage.

Brose says there is simply not enough students interested in nurse education.

"We are in a region that is very difficult to recruit qualified nurse faculty," she said. "The need for qualified nurse educators is not just in the academic environment, it's also on the practice and the service side."

Kristie Dittemore with Heartland is also a recent graduate of the leadership program at Missouri Western.

With more than 20 years of nursing experience, she says the program is needed.

"Their program emphasizes not only education but leadership as well and it doesn't matter what level you're working at if it's clinical, non clinical, bedside, in the office, that leadership is needed in health care today," said Dittemore.

They're hoping the leadership class will also change the way people view nursing.

"Many people have such a very narrow vision of what nursing is and they see individuals in a white uniform with a cap in a hospital, that's not who we are," said Brose. 

For more information, contact the Department of Nursing and Allied Health at (816) 271-4415.

Copyright 2016 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.