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University Hospitals team up with Kent State to combat the nursing shortage throughout Northeast Ohio

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Posted at 7:07 AM, Mar 11, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-11 18:21:13-04

KENT, Ohio — Adam Roman is a junior at Kent State University. From a young age, he’s wanted to be a nurse.

“My brother at 13 months was diagnosed with a form of childhood cancer,” he said. “He had a few nurses that took care of him and just seeing that kind of inspired me to help people just like they did. Ever since then, I just wanted to be a nurse.”

He’s beginning to fulfill that dream at Kent in the nursing school, but it comes with loans.

“You got to think about it, you have to plan ahead for it,” he said.

He’s one of the hundreds of students applying for the University Hospitals scholarship.

Starting in the fall, University Hospitals will give 20 seniors in the nursing program $12,000. That money is contingent on the students working at least two years at University Hospitals upon graduation.

University Hospitals is also offering Kent more clinical opportunities. Dean of the nursing school, Barbara Broome, says not having enough clinical space has held them back before, because they weren’t able to accept as many students.

“We are limited by the number of actual clinical sites that we have,” said Broome. “So when you think about Kent State, we are one of 27 other entities that are really looking for places to place their students,” she said.

The clinical aspect of the collaboration will allow students to be well versed with University Hospitals, creating a smoother transition from graduation to bedside work.

“We have been brainstorming on ways that we can do clinical different,” said Tracey Motter, the Associate Dean for Undergraduate Programs at the nursing school. “How we can educate students to be better prepared with the increased technology, the increased acuity in patients. We have got to make our nurses really smart and ready to go.”

The nursing school only accepts about 350 students each year, but with the collaboration it can add 80 more, which will create a small dent in the 2,850 nurses Northeast Ohio will need by 2020.

Broome believes it will make Kent a bit more competitive, too.

“I think that students, when they start to know that they’re going to have a job as soon as they get out of the nursing school, that’s a real plus,” she said. “That’s a win-win for both of us.”

RELATED:University Hospitals and Kent State address ongoing nursing shortage with financial aid