Nurses in high demand across Kansas

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – In Wichita, hospitals like Via Christi are actively working to get more nurses in their facilities.

“This year we are hiring an additional 80 nurses, just this year to make sure we meet the demands that we have for patient care,” said Carla Yost, Via Christi.

But in rural areas, it is not always that simple. That’s where a grant provided to Wichita State University could help bridge that gap.

“It gives the students an opportunity to get out into the workforce earlier. We’re very committed to being able to address the healthcare issues in our community as well as Kansas,” said Alicia Huckstadt, Wichita State School of Nursing.

The money is specifically for students in advanced nurse training programs. Particularly working to become nurse practitioners in family health and mental health programs in rural or under served areas.

“So, these students make a commitment with the federal government to actually go into practice after they graduate. They have to have training within those areas during their graduate studies and then they do that after,” said Huckstadt.

The work provides a well documented need throughout Kansas where some areas may find people having to travel hours to receive medical help they need.

“Nurse practitioners are able to practice in areas that maybe they don’t have the health professionals that maybe some of the urban areas have. So they’re able to go to these. For some of the small communities, they may be the only health provider there,” added Huckstadt.

Officials with Wichita State University say the grant will be able to fund 16 students for the entire year.

They hope to apply for the grant again in the following year.

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