Ivy Tech Community College will expand its nursing program to meet growing demand for nurses throughout the state, thanks to an $8.75 million grant from Indiana University Health.
The grant will be used for investments to support expanded enrollment, such as faculty and staff recruiting and compensation, educational equipment and supportive services for students, the colleges said in a statement.
“Our healthcare systems in Indiana are in critical need of skilled nurses, and Ivy Tech is well-positioned to deliver on this need,” said Jason Gilbert, IU Health executive vice president and chief nurse executive. “Currently there are qualified applicants each year in Indiana who are turned away from nursing schools due to limitations on teaching space, clinical placement availability and faculty resources.”
Gilbert said it is important for health systems to work with our educational partners to support expansion of the educational pipeline to allow more qualified students to become professional nurses.
“This partnership with Ivy Tech is a significant step toward expanding healthcare delivery to Hoosiers for generations to come,” he said.
The grant funds will be distributed throughout Ivy Tech’s statewide network. Ivy Tech’s Northwest and North Central Indiana campus locations include, East Chicago, Gary, Goshen, La Porte, Michigan City, South Bend and Valparaiso.
Labor market data from Emsi/Burning Glass estimates there are 4,300 annual openings for nurses now, with a need for another 5,000 nurses by 2031. That leaves a gap of 1,350 nursing graduates to meet Indiana’s need with current educational resources.
The expanded nursing program at Ivy Tech will increase nursing admissions by 600 students annually by 2025, contributing significantly to filling the gap.
Ivy Tech offers nursing programs at 18 of its 19 campuses, with a program planned to launch at its Hamilton County campus by early 2023. Ivy Tech graduates more than 1,300 associate-degree nursing students annually, with more than 90% of nursing graduates remaining in Indiana.
“This grant will be a huge step in helping Ivy Tech meet the needs of our health system partners in a real and practical way,” said Sue Ellspermann, president of Ivy Tech. “Our ability to educate nurses and keep them in our state will create real value for our economy and the health of Indiana.”
Ivy Tech has been developing a plan for increasing nursing enrollment that includes investments in equipment, supplies and faculty, as well as tools to better support nursing students in their academic success. The college estimates those investments will require $8.7 million in recurring costs over three years as well as $12.1 million in one-time costs.