'Creates new opportunities.' Duke Health, Durham Tech team up to address nursing shortage in NC

Anthony Wilson Image
Wednesday, June 21, 2023
2 Durham colleges team up to address nursing shortage in NC
The nursing shortage is expected to be close to 13,000 across North Carolina by 2033

"When you're a nurse you know that every day you will touch a life or a life will touch yours."

Duke University Health System is teaming up with Durham Technical Community College to address the state's nursing shortage.

"It's expected to be close to 13,000 across North Carolina by 2033," said Debra Clark Jones, Duke Health's vice president for community health. She says they've formed a partnership that will provide resources to Durham Tech and a professional pipeline for local students interested in nursing careers.

"Creates a lot of new opportunities."

"We are looking at direct employment opportunities upon graduation. Another key element of the partnership is that Duke University Health System will be providing clinical staff to serve as faculty at Durham Technical Community College. They have been dealing with difficulties in recruitment and retention of nursing faculty for the very same reasons that we deal with, and other health systems deal with, shortages and nursing," Jones said.

"It creates a lot of new opportunities that we didn't have to begin with, and it makes the transition from school to work easier," said nursing student Jeymy Rivas.

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Debra Clark Jones added, "One of the unique elements also is the level of engagement, really working closely together to meet the critical issues that we both face, and I think this is really unique to Durham. Including incumbent workers here at Duke University Health System. There are those who would like to pursue nursing, and this will be an opportunity to do that. We also have included a program called Paramedics to RN. So paramedics will be able to become registered nurses if that's what they choose to pursue."

While we're told this pipeline will provide nursing assistance to other hospitals, a couple of students smiled while revealing their preference.

Theresa Adusei said, "I would love to work at Duke Hospital when I'm done!"

Jeymy Rivas agreed: "Duke University Hospital, for sure!"

They and others who graduate after training at Durham Tech can look forward to support from those behind the partnership, or any hospital in need of RNs, LPNs and certified nurse's aides.

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