Degree Program Strives to Fill Nursing Jobs

Friday, February 6th 2009, 7:13 pm
By: News 9

By Jennifer Pierce, NEWS 9

OKLAHOMA CITY -- There is no shortage of jobs in the healthcare field, but hospitals and doctors are having a hard time filling nursing positions.

Mercy Hospital held a career day to show students that there is more to the medical field than just being a doctor, but there aren't enough people to fill the jobs. It's a problem that could get worse as the population ages.

"As the baby boomers continue to get older, there are many people that continue to need care and that is creating many more health care jobs," said Kerri Beasley of Mercy Hospital said.

While there are still many jobs available in the medical field, there is a critical nursing shortage, because there aren't enough instructors.

At Oklahoma City University, a fast track nursing degree is offered.

Kirsten Vascik is in her first semester in the program.

"There are so many schools out there that have a waiting list and OCU doesn't," Vascik said. "That was really one of the fabulous things. They are really putting their money where their mouth is."

The school will soon offer the state's first PhD program to train nursing instructors.

"The reason why we decided we needed it was because of the nursing shortage, everyone probably knows about the severe crisis," Dr. Williamson said.

The Dean of the Kramer School of Nursing hopes to have the PhD program available to students in the fall.