Growing need for nurses in rural areas

The School of Nursing at Minnesota State is preparing to meet a growing need for registered nurses, especially in rural areas.
Published: Sep. 18, 2023 at 7:14 PM CDT
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MANKATO, Minn. (KEYC) - On, Monday Mayo Clinic Health System discussed the rural healthcare workforce.

“We have to grow the supply as part of our challenge and that’s not something that our industry is typically concerned with. It hasn’t an ancillary sense of we want to make sure the pipeline is there, but we tend to not think about those folks who are late in demand on the bench or on the sidelines thinking about getting into the game.”

Which is what Minnesota State University, Mankato school of Nursing is trying to address. From accepting 128 students per year, to 144 in 2024, and 160 students in 2026.

“They go into, you know, they get a lot of exposure into the outlying areas around Mankato, through their public health nursing course and the clinical experience.”

With partnerships in rural locations students and the program have the opportunity to meet the needs which are different than those in more urban settings.

“The rural healthcare facilities offer to nurses, people who like seeing that wider variety of healthcare problems.”

They have adopted the strategy of “growing your own.”

“The rural healthcare facilities offer to nurses, people who like seeing that wider variety of healthcare problems. Those who grow up in rural areas, you know, tend to be the people who go back there and work there. And so by trying to expose more students to healthcare facilities in the rural area, we’re trying to show them, you know, this is what it could be like when you’re working,” said Dr. Tricia Young, chair of the school of nursing at Minnesota State University.

The chair of the school of nursing says one faculty member hopes to expand their research on rural health, which could expand the knowledge and hopefully open new doors to rural health.

“Nurses in rural health nursing, you know, so can we offer a master’s degree in rural health nursing and is that something, you know, the first step with trying to figure that out is to do a needs assessment. You know, you got to do,” said Young.

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