Iowa’s shortage of nurses is starting to be solved through a University of Iowa program which officials hope will see an increase in state funding. U-of-I President Sally Mason briefed legislators on the program called Better Future for Iowans. Mason says the goal is to help would-be nurses achieve their aspirations through distance education.
“Some of which allow place-bound Iowans to get a full University of Iowa degree without ever having to leave his or her home community,” Mason says. “Right now, we’re able to do that in all of the community colleges across Iowa for the nursing degree.”
A study by the Iowa Council of Nurses projected a shortfall of 2,500 registered nurses in Iowa in the coming years. Mason says the U-of-I program is already making a difference.
“It’s allowed many of our nurses in small communities across Iowa to go from their two-year nursing degree to a four-year bachelor of science in nursing degree without having to leave their jobs, leave their homes or do anything that would disrupt their lives.”
Mason says if the legislature appropriates more money, a business degree program for working professionals in Des Moines can be extended to other locations around the state. She made her budget request before a joint House-Senate committee which oversees spending on education.