Lincoln University would need more space to provide more nurses

With Lincoln University’s School of Nursing celebrating its 50th anniversary this weekend, the future of the school’s curriculum could include opportunities for study abroad and an opportunity for paramedics to become nurses. However, the expansion depends on whether the space requirements in the building are taken into account.

According to a History of Lincoln University School of Nursing, the LU School of Nursing began teaching in Young Hall in the fall of 1969. Young Hall currently houses offices such as the President of the University, Registrar, and Campus ID Services.

The nursing school briefly moved to Founders Hall, which now includes the Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences, before finding its current home at Elliff Hall on Dunklin Street.

Ann McSwain, the current dean of the nursing school, said Elliff was meeting the program’s requirements for now, but more space would be required for each expansion.

Linda Bickel, a former department head of the LU nursing school, said Elliff used to be a laboratory elementary school for high school students to gain classroom experience.

McSwain’s office is in the former headmaster’s office, and the old mechanical system that operated the school’s bells is still mounted on the wall right outside her door.

“The nursing school needs more space,” said Bickel, especially when it comes to offering graduate programs.

She and McSwain said society will need even more nurses – which means more nurses need to be trained in places like LU.

“We have so many people who are retiring, and here’s the experience. You can’t get that experience in a textbook. Even if you shadow that person, you can’t take in all of the knowledge they’ve gained over the years “said McSwain.


Need for nurses

The median age of a registered nurse in Missouri in 2017 was 47, according to the Missouri Board of Nursing, which falls under the Missouri Division of Professional Registration.

The State Nursing Board noted in its 2018 Workforce Report that “there are relatively high rates of near-retirement nurses (ages 55-64) in some counties in the state”.

Counties of Moniteau and Morgan are among the areas of the state where approximately 45 to 65 percent of registered nurses are older than 54, according to the report.

The Cole, Callaway, Osage, and Boone counties measured about 18 to 27 percent, while about 33 to 45 percent of Miller County’s registered nurses were nearing retirement age.

In terms of geographic spread, more than 90 percent of government-licensed nurses and nurses worked in advanced practices in major cities, as well as more than three-quarters of licensed practical nurses.

The report also lists how many nurses – LPNs, RNs, and APRNs – came per 10,000 people, by county. Among the counties, the number of nurses per 10,000 residents was: Cole, 66.35; Callaway, 23.21; Osage, 15.96; Boone, 85.07; Miller, 14.8; Moniteau, 16.16; and Morgan, 13.78.

Counties of Cole, Callaway, Boone, Moniteau and Osage were classified as “metropolitan areas” in the report. Of all these metropolitan areas in the state, St. Louis City had the highest rate at 138.81 nurses per 10,000 residents and McDonald County had the lowest rate at 9.04 nurses per 10,000 residents.

Miller and Morgan counties were classified as rural counties in the report. Among the rural counties, Scotland County had the highest rate at 70.04 nurses per 10,000 residents and Ozark County had the lowest rate at 4.99 nurses per 10,000 residents.

The Missouri Nursing Board also found that unemployment was low among registered nurses and registered nurses with advanced practice in 2018, “indicating that there are only a limited supply of RNs and APRNs available within the state to meet current needs cover.”

In addition to the patients, a lack of care also poses challenges for nursing schools.

“Going forward, we want to be able to increase our numbers to accommodate more students. We have a lot of qualified applicants in Missouri who are turned away from nursing schools because we are really understaffed with qualified faculties. The shortage in nursing schools is a real problem, not just for Lincoln University but for many nursing schools, “said McSwain.

The nursing school’s BSN program had 82 applicants and 60 admitted over the past year, 2018-19, she said. The two-year applied science associate in the nursing program offered at Fort Leonard Wood had 54 applicants last year, 36 of whom were admitted.


Demography of the LU nursing school

The nursing school is the largest school in the LU, McSwain said.

The nursing school has 252 students in its BSN program, another 97 in the AAS program, and four students in the online BSN program for existing RNs – a total of 353 students.

By comparison, the LU School of Business has 287 students and the LU School of Education has 112 students, according to online records.

At Nursing School, the 252 BSN students are about as diverse as the LU as a whole: 40 percent black or African American, 47 percent white and 2 percent Hispanic among BSN students, and 43 percent black or African American, 41 percent white and 2 percent Hispanic for LU overall.

Once a student is admitted to nursing school, the retention rate is high.

The nursing school’s retention rate was 81.4 percent in 2018, compared to 84 percent in 2017 and 78 percent in 2016, McSwain said.

For comparison: LU’s overall retention rate was 53 percent in 2016 and 50 percent in 2017. The 2018 data was not yet available on the university’s website.

After graduation

As soon as a student has completed the LU nursing school, the landing of a job is assured. According to McSwain, the placement rate for the BSN program is 100 percent. The school’s nursing students usually have a job in their third semester, she said.

According to the Federal Labor Statistics Office, the employment prospects for registered nurses rose by a total of 12 percent between 2018 and 28 – “much faster than the average for all occupations. The growth is expected for a number of reasons, including an increased emphasis on preventive care, rising rates chronic conditions such as diabetes and obesity, and the demand for health services from the baby boomer population as they lead longer and more active lives. “

A 12 percent growth in nurse employment equates to 371,500 new jobs. This projected growth ranks RNs third in terms of occupations expected to provide the most new jobs between 2018 and 28 – just behind 881,000 new nursing assistants and 640,100 new “combined food preparation and serving, including fast food” workers.

The median wage for a nurse in 2018 was $ 71,730 per year, or $ 34.48 per hour. The median wage last year for a nursing assistant was $ 24,020 per year and for a worker who prepares and serves food it was $ 21,250 per year.

Future opportunities

McSwain said most LU nursing students become registered nurses, although other options are available.

“We have a biology / pre-med option and then the health and wellness option (option) through the Department of Education. Some of these students later become physiotherapists and the like,” she said.

EMT certification is not available, she said, but she would like to see a program for existing EMTs in the future to earn a bachelor’s degree in nursing.

Since 2014, the school has offered a four-year Bachelor of Science degree in nursing. The school also offers an online program for existing RNs to earn their undergraduate degree.

McSwain said she would also like to see opportunities for LU nursing students to study health care in other countries or other systems, as such experiences could give students a more global picture that could make them more appreciative of what is available in the United States. The diversity that students would encounter could better prepare them to care for each patient, she added.

There are currently no opportunities to study abroad, she said. But she added, “We’ve talked about it and thought about it. We have a few people who have it, whether as a faculty or as a student. We haven’t really narrowed it down on where we want to go.”

She continued, “We talked about, maybe in Kansas City, St. Louis, doing church work in places like this outside of the area, just to see how we would work together and how we would sort of do the minor overseas study program fix) at home before you take it out on the street. “

LU students are already serving in the local community.

As an example, McSwain said, the nursing school continues to work together to provide screening and education for school children. The St. Martin School was the first such partnership two years ago.

“We have always been involved in the community because students have to do at least two hours of community service each semester, so if you take in 30 students, that’s 60 hours per community,” she said.

She said nursing students have helped with Project Homeless Connect, blood donations in churches, the Special Learning Center, and Special Olympics.

As with St. Martin School, she said, nursing students have also offered health screenings for children at Jefferson City’s Boys & Girls Club.

“There are usually a lot of people who turn to us and we have to choose what we can and can’t do. If we can’t do it this semester, we’ll choose to do it next semester.” “McSwain said.” We try to combine these opportunities with the learning goals in the classroom so that students feel like they are making something out of them too. “

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