Indian Hills Begins Construction on Nursing Simulation Lab and Apprenticeship Program

Published: Nov. 18, 2020 at 5:00 AM CST
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OTTUMWA, Iowa (KYOU) - Lori Bailey is an Indian Hills Community College gradute. And now, she’s the Chief Nursing Officer at Ottumwa Regional Health Center. And she’s returned to Indian Hills to work with the college’s nursing apprenticeship program. That’s because, as Indian Hills' president, Dr. Matt Thompson says, it’s more than your standard degree program.

“It really supplements the efforts they have in clinical and provides them real life working experience using technology.”

It’s why, thanks to a state grant pushing them over the line, they’re buildling a new facility within the Rosemann Center. The program gives studying nurses the opportunity to work at Ottumwa Regional, in a paid position. It not only builds a student’s experience, but builds a relationship between them and the health center. And Lori wants to help move them "from a start of a new career clear through to the registered nursing level and then retain them.”

It’ll be a flexible schedule, and provide early hands-on experience. They can work without CNA training as a patient safety technician - helping patients at risk who need help with small tasks. And the help is welcome. Medical workers are valuable, this year more than ever.

And their numbers are shrinking. Lori describes the medical job market as a funnel.

“It’s nurses, it’s radiology technicians, it’s registration clerks that learn to do medical record coding, it just goes on and on and on.”

So the program should help to provide nurses to Southeast Iowa. Dr. Thompson says Indian Hills graduates tend to stay in the area: “86% of our students stay in one of our 10 countries that we serve. So this gives you an opportunity to have employment from day one.”

Indian Hills plans for the construction of the lab to be complete in Spring.

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