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Great Plains Health, UNMC partnership provides fast track to nursing career

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Great Plains Health, UNMC partnership provides fast track to nursing career

Great Plains Health and the University of Nebraska Medical Center College of Nursing are collaborating for an accelerated clinical program in North Platte. A signing ceremony for the agreement was Thursday. Pictured are, seated from left, Dr. Julie Sebastian, the dean of the College of Nursing; Dr. Dele Davies, UNMC senior vice chancellor for academic affairs; Ivan Mitchell, CEO of Great Plains Health; and Tina Pate, Great Plains Health chief nursing officer. Standing is Jason Westman, a Clinical Pathway student.

Great Plains Health is collaborating with the University of Nebraska Medical Center College of Nursing for accelerated clinicals in North Platte for the bachelor of science in nursing program.

A ceremonial signing of the agreement was held Thursday afternoon in North Platte.

Qualified applicants with bachelor’s degrees can complete the accelerated program in a year. Students will complete their didactic courses at the UNMC campus in Kearney while they receive clinical training at Great Plains Health.

It’s no secret that we need more nurses across the state,” Ivan Mitchell, the hospital’s CEO, said in a media release announcing the collaboration. “There are many wonderful efforts in North Platte and in Nebraska to help train the next generation of health care professionals. We are pleased to deploy another strategy to encourage nursing careers.”

Nebraska is facing a growing shortage of nurses. In 2020, the state faced a shortage of about 4,100 nurses; by 2025, the Nebraska Center for Nursing estimates shortfalls exceeding 5,400 nurses. This prediction takes into account the 3.8% predicted growth as nurses graduate from nursing programs and enter the workforce.

Applications for the Clinical Pathway Partnership are being accepted, and opportunities for tuition and housing assistance are available. The first cohort of students will begin in 2023.

Applicants must have earned 58 credit hours of required prerequisites in the sciences and general studies, which may be completed through the applicant’s existing bachelor’s degree.

“This is a great opportunity for anyone who wants to break into nursing — or take the next step in their health care career — and make an immediate impact on our community,” Tina Pate, chief nursing officer of Great Plains Health, said in the release. “Students will receive an outstanding education through UNMC, coupled with immersive clinical experience at Great Plains Health. We will be alongside these nursing students through every part of their journey.”

Those interested can visit unmc.edu/nursing/educational-programs/undergraduate-programs/kearney-accelerated-program/index.html for additional information.

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