Ochsner, Loyola New Orleans launch nursing program

Ochsner Health and Loyola University New Orleans partnered on a new undergraduate nursing program in an effort to address workforce shortages in Louisiana and the nation.

Four things to know:

1. The organizations announced the four-year degree program Oct. 21. Under the partnership, New Orleans-based Ochsner will provide clinical placements at its facilities for Loyola nursing students.

2. "Having a strong, skilled workforce is one of the single biggest challenges facing Ochsner Health," Warner Thomas, president and CEO of the health system, said during an announcement Oct. 21.

3. Nurse shortages are expected to affect Louisiana's healthcare workforce in the coming years, as 37 percent of registered nurses in the state are 50 years or older, and 17 percent are 60 years or older. Nationally, the Bureau of Labor Statistics expects 175,900 job openings for RNs each year over the next decade. 

4. The program has been approved by the Louisiana State Board of Nursing and is pending approval from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. 

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