August 3, 2023

Early Introduction to the Nursing Profession Program To Battle Nursing Shortage

Early Introduction to the Nursing Profession Program To Battle Nursing Shortage

Image: National Student Leadership Conference on Nursing/Rhode Island Nurses Institute Middle College Charter High School

The nursing shortage has become a pressing concern, with 91% of nurses expressing that it is worsening, according to the State of Nursing 2023 report from An alarming 79% also feel that their units are not adequately staffed.  Per the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment opportunities for RNs are predicted to increase by 6% from 2021 to 2031. This growth indicates a need for approximately 195,400 more nurses by the year 2031.

New programs and initiatives are being explored to get younger people involved in nursing. These initiatives not only address the pressing issue of the nursing shortage but also contribute to the overall improvement of healthcare and the nurturing of a more diverse and skilled nursing workforce. By introducing nursing as a potential career path during high school, these programs enable students to explore the profession at an early age.

>> Click to See the Ultimate List of Master’s Degrees in Nursing

ASPIRE Nurse Scholars Program

The ASPIRE Nurse Scholars Program, run by the Cleveland Clinic and sponsored by the Howley Foundation, offers an excellent opportunity for high school juniors interested in nursing and healthcare. The program aims to increase diversity within the nursing profession and partners with Tri-C and Ursuline College. Participating students not only gain valuable experience and exposure to the healthcare field, but they can also earn their bachelor's degree and even a college scholarship while in the program.

Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania

In collaboration with La Salle University and the Howley Foundation, Penn Medicine has launched a new program designed for high school students with a passion for nursing. The program, housed at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania (HUP), selects 25 junior high school students as ASPIRE scholars, offering them exposure to healthcare, nursing roles, patient safety, and clinicals. These students receive support through grants and scholarships and have the opportunity to earn a BSN through La Salle University.

Rhode Island Nurses Institute Middle College Charter High School

Foreseeing the impending baby-boomer nursing shortage, Pamela McCue, a nurse herself, established the Rhode Island Nurses Institute Middle College Charter High School (RINI) in Providence, RI. This program focuses on cultivating a diverse community of nurses from various cultures while emphasizing the importance of support and care for others. Students at RINI have the opportunity to earn college credits during their high school years and often work as certified nursing assistants in the healthcare field by the time they graduate. The school partners with local healthcare organizations, providing students with 40 hours of valuable clinical or internship experience.

WSU & Premier Health Raider Up Nursing Camp

The Raider Up Nursing Camp, organized by WSU and Premier Health, targets high school juniors with a passion for nursing. Over three immersive days, nursing students work alongside RNs from Premier Health, participating in various simulations related to labor and delivery, infant care, and bedside care for adult patients. This program is free for students, and they also receive a CPR certification upon completion.

Navigate to Nursing Scholarship Program

The Chamberlain University College of Nursing offers the Navigate to Nursing Scholarship Program, which allows high school seniors a head start in earning their BSN. Qualified candidates can take college courses, including anatomy and physiology and nursing core courses, through the university. Additionally, some students may have the opportunity to have 100% of their tuition covered.

Introduction to Nursing

Adelphi University in New York hosts a high school summer program called "Introduction to Nursing." During this enriching experience, students work in a simulation lab, gaining hands-on clinical experience while exploring nursing ethics and values. They delve into caring for older adults, medical-surgical areas, nutrition, pediatrics, and obstetrics, and upon completion, they receive a CPR certification from the American Heart Association.

National Student Leadership Conference on Nursing

For high school students in grades 9 to 12, the National Student Leadership Conference offers a comprehensive 9-day summer course focusing on nursing. This course includes learning experiences in simulation labs, midwifery labs, CPR training, and visits to nursing programs. Participants will learn valuable skills such as assessing vitals, performing EKGs, and triaging patients.

Early Introduction to the Nursing Profession Program

The Early Introduction to the Nursing Profession Program, hosted by the University of Connecticut, provides high school students with a valuable hands-on opportunity. Participants in the program gain essential CPR and Stop the Bleed certifications, as well as the unique experience of shadowing a nurse for a day at Hartford Healthcare. Additionally, they learn about critical topics such as health literacy and disparities in healthcare. The program equips students with valuable insights into navigating the financial and application process for nursing school at the university. 

In the face of a growing nursing shortage, it is essential to nurture the interest of young students in the nursing profession. These inventive programs targeting high school students offer a glimpse into the world of healthcare and nursing, inspiring the next generation of compassionate and skilled nurses. By providing opportunities for early engagement, we can foster a diverse and competent nursing workforce that will make a significant impact on healthcare systems and the well-being of patients for years to come.

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