Jefferson County Public Schools program will allow students to graduate high school with a licensed practical nurse degree

A program to bring more nurses into the workforce will be offered in the Jefferson County Public Schools. The program will allow high-school seniors to graduate with a licensed practical nurse degree, while they finish their remaining high school credit. 
“We are offering students the ability to graduate from high school ready for a practical nursing career — all while learning within an organization devoted to safe, quality nursing care,” Brittany Burke, system director of the Norton Healthcare Institute for Education & Development, said in a news release. 
The LPN program is possible through a partnership with JCPS, Norton Healthcare and the Galen College of Nursing. Norton will provide tuition assistance to the students enrolled in the program, the release said.
LPNs, like registered nurses, are in short supply in Kentucky and across the nation. The Kentucky Hospital Association‘s 2023 Workforce Survey Report shows an estimated 300 LPN openings statewide, resulting in a nearly 21% vacancy rate. 
“The LPN workforce is also among the professions with the highest rates of employees age 55 or older (21.8 %), behind psychiatric nurses (28.3 %) and ahead of OR/PACU (20.9 %),” says the report. “In other words, nurses that are likely to retire in the next ten years, and discounting new and younger entrants, professions that will experience significant shortages.” 
Interested high-school students who will be seniors during the 2024-2025 school year can fill out a form online to learn more about the program. 

Kentucky Health News is an independent news service of the Institute for Rural Journalism and Community Issues, based in the School of Journalism and Media at the University of Kentucky, with support from the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky.

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