In an attempt to address the nursing shortage in southwest Kansas, SunPorch of Dodge City and Nightingale College, which educates registered nurses and is headquartered in Salt Lake City, have reached a partnership.

The organizations will host a meet and greet at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 15, at SunPorch, 501 W. Beeson Road.

Anyone interested in learning more about the partnership is invited to attend.

"We are super excited to be part of this educational program because our area has a great need for nurses," said SunPorch marketing and community liaison Debbie Allen in a news release. "By partnering with Nightingale, we hope to see an increase in the number of quality nurses here in Dodge City and the rest of southwest Kansas.

"As always, the SunPorch mission is to improve healthcare locally."

Nightingale representatives will be on hand to answer questions on the college's pre- and post-licensure BSN programs.

"SunPorch is eager to be the local hub for Nightingale students," Allen said. "The college will have space in our building for educational mannequins and other supplies.

"Students will practice hands-on skills under the supervision of a local Nightingale faculty member."

According to Nightingale College communications and public relations specialist Emily Crawford, Nightingale offers a fully accredited BSN program that is approved for distance delivery.

"The college focuses on bringing accessible nursing degree programs to communities hit hard by the nursing shortage," Crawford said in a news release. "We collaborate with healthcare leaders to develop homegrown nurses who can begin their careers locally.

"Nightingale is passionate about helping smaller communities. Area nursing programs may have capacity limits on enrollment and students may get their education elsewhere. Often, they don’t come back."

According to Nightingale regional manager of partnerships Julie Janke, when SunPorch administrator Ryan Salinas learned about the college, he was immediately on board.

"Ryan is a great partner and is aligned with our vision," Janke said. "We have been very impressed with SunPorch and its commitment to nursing education and quality health care.

"This is a big deal for Dodge City and the area. We congratulate local providers for coordinating such a meaningful opportunity."

Janke added that Nightingale’s blended-distance program is an innovative approach to brick-and-mortar schools with the program comprised of online didactic learning and instruction with local on-ground experiential learning activities where learners practice hands-on skills.

Enrollment will take place three times a year, and there are no waiting lists.

"Those interested in nursing school have this opportunity to learn about the 32-month BSN program and possibly learn about employment down the road," Janke said. "In addition, Nightingale will waive the application fee for those who attend.

"Most people that become nurses are called to the profession. If you have a burning desire to become a nurse, or even just thought about it, this meeting is a good place to start."

Janke said that despite admissions advisers not attending the meeting, participants will be able to gather the right information to start their education process.

Nightingale College is accepting enrollments now for the spring 2020 semester, which begins in January.

"Nightingale seeks to elevate ourselves and local communities," Janke said. "We are actively working to end this nationwide shortage.

"However, it is not just nursing students who benefit. Nightingale brings economic value to the community because we hire local individuals as faculty."

For more information, contact Allen at 620-227-7512.


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