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Addressing the nursing shortage: One woman changes careers to impact patients

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Posted at 7:08 PM, Jul 03, 2024

INDIANAPOLIS — Indiana is facing a nursing shortage and Marian University has been working to address the issues for years now.

"I am loving it," Syndey Watson, recent graduate, said.

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Watson started her journey to become a nurse almost two-years-ago after spending eight years in the non-profit world.

"I had always been interested in nursing but didn’t know if I could do it," Watson said.

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Watson reached out to Marian University's Accelerated Bachelor of Science and Nursing Program and spent the last 16 months working to become a nurse.

"Through the pandemic, I was able to see the shortage, so I definitely knew that was a thing. It’s nice to be able to see I was able to contribute to the need," Watson said.

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The need is well documented in Indiana.

The Indiana Hospital Association projects that the state will be short 5,000 nurses by 2031. It means Indiana would need to graduate 1,300 additional nurses per year until 2030.

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"It is so important, it is so timely," Shana Cureton, an assistant professor of nursing, said.

Cureton says the accelerated program is geared towards people who have had other careers before this.

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Through a partnership with Ascension St. Vincent, Marian University provides a unique opportunity to make a career transition without starting over.

"It actually lets us have nurses in a short period of time so we can have quality nurses that come out in the hospital," Cureton said.

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 Watson started her job at in the emergency department at Ascension St. Vincent three-weeks-ago. She says she was part of one of their biggest orientations with about 117 nurses.

"I’m glad I did it and it went by so quickly. Now, I’m on the other side of it. It’s hard and scary, but it’s a good thing to do," Watson said.

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For more information on Marian's accelerated program, click here or email Shana at