Community Based Job Training Grant (CBJT)
Lake Land College expanding instructional capacity to address the nursing shortage.
The Lake Land College (LLC) district is experiencing a critical shortage of both practicing nurses and qualified nursing faculty. The goal of this three-year proposed project is to increase the capacity of LLC’s Practical Nursing (PN) and Associate Degree Nursing (AD) programs to produce qualified nurses to meet the growing needs of health care organizations.
In the last three years, over 12 major area plants in the LLC district have closed, leaving 2,034 workers without jobs. Many of these workers are faced with entering college for the first time and seeking training for a new career that holds more opportunity. The nursing profession offers just such an opportunity for these dislocated workers and for other adults and young people seeking a career in a high-growth, high-demand field, as jobs in nursing are projected to grow at a rate that is faster than average for all occupations.
Currently, the LLC nursing programs are operating at capacity and graduate 35 Practical Nursing (PN) and 40 Associate Degree Nursing (AD) students each year. These 75 nursing graduates account for less than 40% of the projected 200 new nurses needed annually in the district—residents of the district are losing out on 125 potential nurses each year.
The primary capacity challenges facing LLC in addressing the local nursing shortage include a scarcity of qualified nursing faculty, insufficient funding to expand programs, and lack of career awareness. To address these challenges, LLC has developed a multi-faceted project aimed at achieving five objectives: 1) Continue to attract qualified students into the field of nursing; 2) Increase enrollment in the both the PN program and AD program by 50% by the end of the project period; 3) Improve the completion rates for new admits from 62% to 80% by the end of the project period; 4) Achieve 100% placement of nursing graduates in relevant employment within six months of program completion; and 5) Develop and disseminate a replicate model of educational capacity building in the field of nursing. A primary emphasis of this project is development of a strategy to “grow our own” nursing faculty.
A significant cross section of health care, educational, and community agencies have committed to working with LLC to ensure success of this project. Key partners include the Crossroads Workforce Investment Board, C.E.F.S. Economic Opportunity Corporation, LLC’s Dislocated Worker Services, Tech Prep, Eastern Illinois Education for Employment System (EIEFES), and six local health care organizations. In addition, LLC personnel are extremely committed to providing the extensive time and other support services to meet the project objectives.
Leveraged resources from LLC’s partners in this project include both cash and in-kind commitments adding value of approximately $600,000 toward current and future capacity building and training efforts in the nursing profession, with health care organizations committing a total of $44,000 in cash toward nursing instructor salaries.