Nevada turns to nurse apprentices to bolster staffing

State officials in Nevada are encouraging nurse apprenticeships as part of efforts to alleviate staffing shortages in hospitals and health systems.

The Nevada Department of Health and Human Services and Nevada State Board of Nursing are specifically asking nursing students enrolled in an accredited nursing program and in good standing to strongly consider this option, according to a news release from the office of Gov. Steve Sisolak.

About 900 nursing students are enrolled in accredited nursing programs statewide, and about 100 positions were open as of Jan. 18, according to the state. There is also capacity to add 150 more positions.

"The state will continue to work with nursing schools and healthcare partners who want to develop or expand their programs to meet the current demand for staffing," the news release from the governor's office said.

"The apprentice nurse program helps students maximize the skills they have learned and get hands-on opportunities in the field while supporting the healthcare system," according to the state.

The call for nurse apprenticeships comes amid a COVID-19 surge and staffing challenges in the state's healthcare facilities. New daily COVID-19 hospitalization rates in the U.S. have risen 47 percent over the last two weeks, with Nevada seeing a 63 percent increase during that time period, according to HHS data tracked by The New York Times.

In addition to nurse apprenticeships, Nevada has also recruited Nevada medical providers, behavioral health providers, healthcare administrators, student practitioners, those who received licensure outside of the U.S., out-of-state licensed providers and retired providers through its Battle Born Medical Corps initiative, which is designed to relieve the burden on healthcare facilities and workers from COVID-19.

Learn more about the initiative here

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