Online Nursing

By Kate Gaier
5:15 pm August 28, 2006

The U.S. is seeing almost a 30 percent decline in student enrollment for nursing programs.

Crystal Ranm has been a nurse for 10 years and has seen her share of critical patients. Now, as a nurse manager, she's enduring another critical time, a shortage of staff.

"It puts a lot of stress on the mangers to be able to provide the care that we need to provide through staffing."

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services website shows Georgia has 683 employed nurses per 100,000 population when the national average is 782.

Because of the nurse shortage, the Department of Technical and Adult Education has awarded half a million dollars to five technical colleges in the peach state.

Rhonda Taylor, a RN and professional recruiter, said, "I think it's great because it will continue to increase the number of nursing graduates and make it easier for those who have gotten out of the nursing field to get back in and make that transition an easier process overall."

Southwest Georgia Technical College will receive $125,000 to start up a new online program.

Lorette Hoover, the interim president, said, "We have to take a person who is a RN with an inactive license through the process of going back to school to get refreshers and then connect them with the clinical site."

Nursing students must complete 40 hours of online course work and 160 hours of hands-on experience before becoming licensed registered nurses.