Hamilton County Commissioners Invest $1.5M To Tackle Nursing Shortage

Grant to Cincinnati State Will Fund Much-Needed Nursing Program Expansion

Hamilton County Commissioners are announcing a $1.5 million investment to help address the nursing shortage in the county.

The nursing shortage is critical. The vacancy rate for full-time registered nurses at our regional hospitals now stands at almost 14.5%, or about 1,500 nurses, according to the most recent data from the Health Collaborative. It is the highest vacancy rate in 20 years and has forced some of our hospitals to close needed beds.

The funds will be used to expand the nursing pathway program at Cincinnati State Technical and Community College, which will create more opportunities for students to become nurse aids (STNAs), practical nurses (LPNs), and registered nurses (RNs).
The investment also aims to increase the number and percentage of LPN and RN nurses from underrepresented backgrounds in Hamilton County by expanding upon Cincinnati State's programming.

"This investment is a critical step in addressing the nursing shortage in the County," said Hamilton County Commission President Alicia Reece. "The pandemic has made it even more clear that we need more nurses."

"This is a great investment for our community," said Hamilton County Commissioner Denise Driehaus. "It will help to ensure that we have the nurses we need to care for our residents, reduce the burden of the nursing shortage on our area providers, and open more opportunities for those seeking a career in nursing."

"We are proud to support the Cincinnati State nursing program," said Commissioner Stephanie Summerow Dumas. "Providing the funding for top-of-the-line educational facilities, educators, and scholarships helps set students up for success when they enter the workforce."

Cincinnati State is the only college in the region to offer a complete nursing education pathway in one location, from STNA to LPN to RN, including a new RN-to-BSN Bachelor of Science in Nursing option. It is also among the region's most affordable options for nursing education, and its graduates consistently achieve among the highest nursing licensure test passing rates of any college or university in the region.

"Our nursing programs have achieved the highest quality for many years, and we are grateful to Hamilton County for making this expansion possible," said Dr. Monica Posey, president of Cincinnati State. "This will create wonderful opportunities for many students while providing more nurses to care for patients in Hamilton County." From left: Commissioner Denise Driehaus, Nursing Program Chair Janice Lockett, Dr. Posey, Commission President Alicia Reece and a Nursing Student pose for a picture

The grant funds will be used to:

  • Build-out and furnish a much-needed LPN skills lab.
  • Provide one-year start-up salary and benefits for an additional STNA instructor, LPN instructor, and RN instructor.
  • Offer scholarships to students in the Cincinnati State nursing pathway, with a priority for underrepresented and low-income students.
  • Provide start-up funding for a Nursing Success Strategies course to further support students. The project will also invest in partnerships with:
  • The Health Collaborative, which will engage with Cincinnati’s major health systems and other healthcare employers to ensure high-quality clinical training sites for students.
  • The Center for Closing the Healthcare Gap, which will work to enhance recruiting nursing students in Hamilton County.
  • The Black Nurses Association of Greater Cincinnati, which will provide Mentoring Group Meetings for LPN and RN students during the project period.
Posted on 08/24/2023