Nursing shortage has schools and healthcare providers scrambling to fill the gap
Ohio State University is working to address the supply and demand issue through the launch of a “Path2BSN” community college option. The program was designed to help boost the proportion of nurses with a bachelor’s degree in Central Ohio.
Path2BSN allows students from seven Central Ohio community colleges – including Columbus State – to transfer seamlessly into Ohio State’s online registered nurse to bachelor of science in nursing program, saving them money and time, said Wendy Bowles, assistant professor of clinical nursing in the College of Nursing.
“It’s critically important that we continue to provide high-quality educational opportunities to our nursing students so they’re prepared to enter the nursing field and practice at the top of their license,” she said. “This is why we’ve developed partnerships like our Path2BSN community college option. This pathway creates another opportunity for students to obtain their (bachelor’s degree) in a timely and affordable manner. It’s also a testament to the collaborative nature of educational institutions across Central Ohio looking to address the demand for nurses in the area.”
Enrollment in Ohio State’s bachelor of science in nursing program has remained steady over the past five years: there were 166 students in 2014, 165 the next three years and 167 in 2018. The registered nurse to bachelor of science in nursing program has grown from 121 in 2016-17 to 168 in 2018-19.
Ohio State plans to continue to work to diversify its nursing student population through several initiatives. The Summer Institute for Future Nurses is a three-day experience where students get an inside look at the life of a nursing student, including interaction with state-of-the-art patient simulators. It’s open to all students but targeted to underrepresented groups like men.