Hastings, Lincoln colleges team up to fill gaps in Nebraska healthcare workforce

Published: Aug. 13, 2020 at 5:50 PM CDT
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HASTINGS, Neb. (KSNB) - Hastings College and Bryan College of Health Sciences started an educational partnership to address the healthcare workforce shortage in south-central Nebraska.

This comes after Hastings College and Bryan Health announced Rich Lloyd will serve as executive president of Hastings College starting September 1. Lloyd will assume the role while continuing to serve as president of Bryan College of Health Sciences.

With Lloyd acting as the connector between the two colleges, the partnership is already underway.

Part of the strategy includes bringing more healthcare-related programs to Hastings College. In a press conference Thursday, Lloyd said there’s a need to expand this workforce, especially in nursing.

Officials are discussing creating a nursing degree that would be from Bryan College through a second Bryan College of Health Sciences site in Hastings. The curriculum would be a collaboration with Hastings College.

“Imagine that we’re able to add to that workforce supply out in south-central Nebraska while continuing to grow and maintain what we’re already doing here,” Lloyd said. “I think that’s just a really big benefit for across the state. So that’s really the goal is to see how we can make that happen.”

The goal is to start the first classes in the second site by fall 2022.

Most degrees will come from student’s respective schools. Lloyd said staff and faculty from both schools are in the beginning phases of building a curriculum to see what’s possible as they balance the needs and interests of their students with the community.

The collaboration might also provide added value to some degrees, while also helping fill shortages in the healthcare workforce.

“For instance at Hastings College one of the most popular majors there is a business administration degree. Bryan College of Health Sciences has a healthcare administration management certificate. So one of the conversations we’ll have is to see, is there an opportunity to take some pieces from the program that we offer and then look at how that might support the program at Hastings College,” Lloyd said.

At the same time, the schools are looking at developing strong partnerships with hospitals and clinics in areas where healthcare shortages run deep. From there the schools can work with community leaders to identify the greatest needs and how to meet them.

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