The Nursing Shortage
There is a critical shortage of qualified nurses in all four of Texoma Health Foundation’s (THF) service-area counties, as well as the state and the nation.
The shortage is expected to directly impact the satisfaction of patients, increase the possibility of overcrowded emergency rooms and reduce the number of available hospital beds in times of need. THF is addressing this need by making it a priority of our Community Grants Program and building national partnerships to help establish Texoma as a leading area for our healthcare workforce to live and stay.
THF was one of nine organizations selected across the country by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and Northwest Health Foundation for the national Partners Investing in Nursing’s Future Grant. The project matches $250,000 committed by THF to establish a half-million dollar program to support the creation of an education and training program at area safety-net healthcare and emergency response sites. Facilities will be linked using tele-education equipment to be placed at a hospital, clinic, emergency response center, public school system, West Africa volunteer hospital/clinic, two nursing colleges and the area health education center.
In addition to this new collaborative, THF has supported 0ur two area nursing colleges since 2007. Community grants from THF cover the cost of instructors and support staff at Grayson County College in Denison, Texas and East Central University (ECU) at Southeastern in Durant, Oklahoma. Nursing schools cite the lack of faculty as the biggest barrier to enrolling more students. The project’s goal is to improve retention and graduation rates thereby increasing the number of qualified registered nurses in North Texas and Southern Oklahoma.
“Thanks to the Texoma Health Foundation, adding one additional faculty member in Durant will make a big difference in the number of new registered nurses we can graduate to help meet the health care needs of people in these areas”.
Dr. Joseph Catalano, Chair, ECU Department of Nursing