It’s been a problem for some time now. Communities across the nation are experiencing a nursing shortage. Roanoke, Virginia and Columbia, South Carolina are no exception. Currently, healthcare providers in both cities have posted hundreds of available nursing positions. As one of the Mid-Atlantic’s largest nursing educators, ECPI University is well-suited to meet this need.
In Roanoke, the campus has expanded its program to include nursing (RN), and in Columbia, licensed practical nursing. “The demand for nurses is expected to intensify as baby boomers age and large numbers of nurses begin to retire,” says Jennifer Barger, Director of Nursing at ECPI University’s Roanoke campus. Nationally, employment of registered nurses is expected to grow by 19 percent between 2012 and 2022, according to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The greater Roanoke region is not only the business center for Western Virginia but has become a medical hub as well, ranking 59 out of 351 by Places Rated Almanac for North American metropolitan areas for the availability of quality health care. Moreover, three of the Roanoke Valley’s top 10 employers are healthcare providers – Carilion Clinic, Veterans Affairs, and Lewis Gale Medical Center.
The greater Columbia region is not only the second largest metropolitan area in the state of South Carolina but is home to one of its largest healthcare employers, Palmetto Health. Other major health care employers in the Midlands include Lexington Medical Center, Providence Hospital, Dorn VA Medical Center, and Orangeburg Regional Medical Center. In addition, there are 187 long-term care facilities statewide, most of which hire practical nurses on their staff.