As the need for nurses grows in US, Simpson University hopes to help that need

The need for nurses in the US is growing and it is affecting in the Northstate.

The need for nurses in the US is growing and it is affecting in the Northstate. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of registered nurses is projected to grow 15 percent between 2016 and 2026. It said the demand for healthcare services will increase, because of the aging population.

Simpson University in Redding said they are offering year-long programs, for registered nurses who want to get their Bachelors Degree. And registered nurses with a Bachelor of Science degree will have better job prospects than those without one.

"My generation which is known as the Silver Tsunami, the baby boomers are starting to retire," Associate Professor Rebecca Swartzman at Simpson University said. "And we took up a large part of the workforce and because of the generation company behind us, isn't as large. We don't have as many people to replace us. But a lot of nurses also moving out into the community, into clinics, into house situations, and the problem of access to care that nurses can pick up a lot of that burdens to take care of a lot of people, but we need nurses to be able to do that and we have not only had a national shortage, but we're also feeling the impact here in Redding."

Regional Director of O2 Employment Services, Michelle Nystrom, said the demand for healthcare services, especially nurses, is high across the state and in Shasta County.

"It's definitely something we feel here because there's such a high demand for nurses across the country and across the state that it makes it that much more difficult to recruit to rural areas," Nystrom said.

The university said they are facilitating the need for nurses by expanding their nursing program, offering a year-long program for Registered Nurses who want to obtain their bachelor's degree.

In addition to the expansion, the university has a brand new simulation lab where students can get hands-on experience and training to prepare them for real-life patients and health care scenarios.

Nursing student Jacob Scheuerman explained one of the reasons why he went into nursing.

"My parents both have a background in medicine. My dad worked as a physical therapist before and my mother was a respiratory therapist," Scheuerman said.

He said although there is a high demand for nurses, the fear of finding a job is minimal.

"There's definitely some job security. I'm not super concerned about where I go I'm kind of still exploring," Scheuerman said.

The university said there are some who have graduated from the program and decided to stay in the area.

"We opened in 2011, I believe and we've graduated over six cohorts and over 170 students and the majority of those have remained in the area," Swartzman said.

With the new program and lab, the university hopes their students will be ready to fill the need for nurses.

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