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Butler University launching new four-year nursing program

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Posted at 9:52 PM, May 21, 2024

INDIANAPOLIS—Butler University is doing something about the nurse’s shortage. It comes at a time when the career field in high demand.

"On average there is an estimate of about 193,000 nurses that are going to be needed over the next 10 years,” Seth Carey the founding Nursing Program Director at Butler University said.

That's why Butler University is launching a new four-year nursing program to help provide more nurses to hospital systems in need across the country.

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"You cannot replace nurses at the bed side,” Carey said. “So, by creating an avenue, another pipeline for nurses to get in the field is absolutely what we need."

Officials at Community Health Network say that following the COVID-19 pandemic, they lost a lot of nurses. While they say many have come back, they still have open positions that need to be filled.

"I mean we definitely registered nurse openings,” Janel Borkes, the VP for professional nursing practice at Community Health Network said. “We certainly have made a dent in that from post-COVID but we still are short in nurses and need more of that staff."

According to Butler, not having enough nurses is causing the workload to increase for current nurses.

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Carey says before the pandemic staffing models switched, nurses typically cared for three to four patients. Now, nurses are caring for six to eight patients. That increase in workload can impact patient care in some situations.

"If we can't hire people then more patients are being provided care by less nurses,” Carey said. “So, the quality of care you can sometimes see is down from what pre-Covid care was."

One thing that is unique about Butler's program is students will start their clinical training in their first year. This is something they say typically doesn't occur until students third year in a nursing program. However, the experience Community Health says is vital.

"Having all of that experience, that great bedside experience is really important for nurses to make sure that they feel comfortable entering a patients room,” Borkes said.

Butler will be accepting 48 students into their program.

Applications open in August with the first group of students starting in fall of 2025. For more information click here.

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