Methodist in the Media

Health Care Sector in Nebraska Works To Rebuild, Bolster Workforce

Published: July 11, 2022

Deb Carlson, president of Nebraska Methodist College, said the pandemic could have scared people away from the field, but it hasn't. 

"People are saying they want to go into health care because they want to make a difference, they want to make an impact," she said, acknowledging that publicity about salary increases and loan payback programs also have helped spur interest. For those who don't want to work directly with patients, plenty of careers are available that aren't at the bedside.

Employers now are focused on how they can get students in the system even before they have degrees and are offering tuition assistance to help them continue their education once they're in the door, Carlson said.  

Nebraska Methodist College, for instance, offers a free student nursing assistant program that allows people 16 and older to study to become nursing assistants at Methodist Hospital and get paid, on-the-job training with a two-year work commitment. The college also began offering its first full-ride scholarships last year for traditional bachelor's of nursing students. 

Carlson said the college also is doing more to reach out to minority communities and has a free master's program for existing minority providers who want to go into nursing education, which also is a shortage area.

OWH: Health care sector in Nebraska works to rebuild, bolster workforce