Creighton University nursing students graduate at Hastings College

HASTINGS, Neb. (KSNB) - Thursday afternoon, more than a dozen nursing students received their diplomas for nursing as they completed their one-year, accelerated Nursing program from Creighton University in Hastings.

Creighton University has also had a partnership with Mary Lanning Healthcare here in Hastings, a partnership which has lasted thirty years. According to educators, many of the nurses at Mary Lanning have come from the Creighton University program. Several of Thursday's graduates have already lined up positions after graduation, some going to Mary Lanning.

Nationally, there has been a nursing shortage in recent years. Over a decade ago, there was another shortage; however, in 2008 after the Great Recession hit, many healthcare workers went back to work after their spouses lost their jobs. Since the economy has improved, there has been a growing problem with too few healthcare workers.

Creighton University has an accelerated nursing program, which was the group who graduated Thursday. This one-year, highly intensive program begins in January, ending in December. This is atypical, but it provides an advantage for Creighton graduates. With a majority of students graduating in May, this saturates the job market and many jobs are filled during the Summer. But with a December graduation, there are more job opportunities for these students.

In recent years, another nursing shortage has grown apparent, and has been attributed to Baby Boomers reaching retirement age. Dr Catherine Todero, Dean of the Creighton University College of Nursing, says that rural communities tend to be more impacted than urban areas.

Having the partnerships here in Hastings allows for nurses to stay close to home here in Central Nebraska. Another benefit of the accelerated program is that it caters to those who wish to switch careers. It is a requirement that students already have a degree before entering the program.