River Valley Community College is developing a new program to train licensed practical nurses.
The LPN program would be offered at the Lebanon and Keene campuses, starting in January, if approved by the state’s Board of Nursing.
In 2018, there were about 1,200 openings for LPNs, according to the New Hampshire Department of Employment Security.
Licensed practical nurses work under the supervision of physicians and registered nurses. They can collect patient data and provide some treatment.
Eileen Glover is the LPN program director and a professor at RVCC. She says this program will help with the nursing shortage across the state.
"Long-term care facilities, outpatient clinics can perfectly use the skill set of an LPN to meet their needs,” she said. “They don’t have access to (registered nurses), everybody is having trouble with access to RNs, and they’re more expensive to hire.”
This is part of Governor Sununu's 2018 healthcare workforce plan, which called for community colleges to re-introduce LPN programs as one way to address the nursing shortage.
The college does offer an associate of science degree in nursing.
The LPN program will be partially funded with a grant from the New Hampshire Department of Business and Economic Affairs.
Glover says she’s already received calls from interested applicants and area hospitals expressing interest in hiring LPNs once they graduate from the program and receive board certification.
RVCC plans on hosting information sessions in the next two months about the program for people who are interested in applying.