BRANSON, MO. -- There is good news for an industry badly in need of people interested in joining. More nursing education will soon be available in Monett and Branson.
"At any given time, there are several hundred nursing positions open in Southwest Missouri," Cox College Chief Nurse Administrator Amy Townsend said.
Needing more nurses isn't a new problem, but this is a new solution.
"The way to fill that is to increase the ability of nursing schools to be able to take more nurses so that we can graduate more nurses," Townsend said.
Townsend says Cox College is now expanding to Monett and Branson. Each satellite campus will be staffed by two new faculty members.
"We were allowed by the state board of nursing to expand to 150 more nursing students per year. That brings us up to 400 students. Part of that expansion was adding two campuses," Townsend said.
Leaders at Cox Medical Center Branson say, unfortunately, the shortage of healthcare providers can hit even harder in rural areas. Across the nation since 2010, there have been 118 closures at rural hospitals.
"We can't afford not to have rural healthcare," Chief Nursing Officer at Cox Branson Lynne Yaggy said.
Yaggy says that's why adding more nursing education to Taney County is so important.
"Every opportunity that we provide nurses and allied health, the better off we are going to be in general as a society," Yaggy said.
Not only will it give students more access to their dream career, but also boost quality medical services throughout the Ozarks.
"This provides an opportunity to stay right here in your community. Because if your kids are in school and you have to drive to Springfield, sometimes that doesn't coincide with your availability," Yaggy said. "When people are driving hours to healthcare, they're likely not going to stay on top of it and seek wellness."
To learn more about what these additions mean for the involved communities, informational events will be held in each of the respective locations. Branson’s event will be held in the Redbud Room at Cox Branson at 11:30 a.m. on January 23, and Monett’s event will be held at Scott Regional Technical Center at 11:30 a.m. on January 30. Both events are open to the public.
To apply for the ASN nights and weekend courses at Branson or Monett, contact Cox College’s admissions team to receive more information about how to do so. They can be reached by phone (417-269-3401) or email (firstname.lastname@example.org). The deadline to apply is September 1, 2020.