Citizens attempt to solve impending nursing shortage


November 18th, 2010

The Albany Herald reports that due to the projected shortage of healthcare workers, a citizen group is pushing to establish a four-year nursing program at Georgia’s Darton College.

In a presentation to the Albany-Dougherty Economic Development Commission, the Citizens for Economic Development said that there will be a “critical” shortage of nurses and nurse practitioners in the near future. To stem this shortage, the organization suggested that Darton expand its current two-year program.

However, opponents of this proposal have expressed concerns that the expansion of Darton’s offerings could harm existing nursing programs at Albany State University (ASU).

Glenn Tennyson, vice chair of the Darton Foundation, doesn’t believe that the expansion would harm ASU, and thinks Albany should become an “educational Mecca.”

Steve Allen, a local businessman who viewed the presentation, believes that expansion of the school’s nursing program could be a “win-win” for both institutions. Allen feels that ASU’s established master’s option might attract graduates who have earned a four-year nursing degree from Darton.

The American Association of Colleges of Nursing cites a number of reasons for the impending nursing shortage on their website. Among them are an aging baby boomer population, a lack of trained educators, and the impending retirement of many registered nurses.

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