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Fast Track Nursing Program Successful

Boise - Idaho State University Boise Center's Fast Track nursing program is a success. So successful, Dr. Robin Dodson, chief academic officer, is deeply concerned.

He knows the shortage in healthcare professionals will reach critical stage in the next ten years and to curb the shortage, he would like to accept all the qualified applicants.

ISU Boise Center's Fast Track nursing program will accommodate 20 students for spring 2003. As of this month, Dr. Sharon Job, ISU's Fast Track nursing coordinator has fielded over 260 calls, and sent out 60 applications to potential students in 32 states. Aimed at second-career students who already hold degrees, the Fast Track program allows individuals to earn a Bachelor of Science in Nursing in 18 months.

"We're working in every way we can to partner with community resources to increase faculty so we can accept more students," said Dodson. Increasing faculty means additional salaries - money the university doesn't have. And, as Dodson said, the number of qualified nursing faculty is rapidly diminishing. The average age of nursing faculty is well above 50.

To effectively increase the program, not only will more faculty need to be hired, but also additional clinical sites will need to be identified. According to Job, the available Treasure Valley clinical sites are reaching saturation. In addition to ISU and Boise State University, the College of Southern Idaho, Treasure Valley Community College and Northwest Nazarene University use Boise medical facilities for clinical sites.

Clinical sites are critical in the teaching process to give students hands-on experience. "The learning skills acquired in the hospital are essential," said Job. "There is nowhere else students can learn those skills and be exposed to that sophisticated technology." For more information, contact Dr. Sharon Job at 685-6778. - July 3, 2002

Written by: Belinda Isley, 334-2257
Contact: Dr. Robin Dodson, CAO/Boise, 685-6750

IDAHO STATE UNIVERSITY

921 South 8th Avenue
Pocatello, Idaho, 83209

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