OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – As Oklahoma continues to face a large nursing workforce shortage, Oklahoma Christian University and INTEGRIS are teaming up to create an innovative way to increase the state’s nursing workforce.
INTEGRIS University is unlike any other nursing program in the state. It offers hands-on experience, low tuition and a guaranteed job for students.
The four-year program will give students the access to a BSN upon completion.
“We get cost effective school but at the same time we get paid at a job that they practically got us, so honestly it’s amazing,” said student, Lesley Mora.
In the program, students immediately start working for Integris.
Lesley Mora, Alyssa Hamill and Masen Neifing are all recent high school graduates.
They were accepted into the program and started working at INTEGRIS in the midst of the pandemic.
“It was really difficult. Especially with the respirators and all of your PPE. It was probably more difficult going home and putting our families at risk,” said Mora.
All across the state, hospitals desperately need nurses.
At Integris, they are short by at least 600 nurses.
“I would have like 12 patients one night and the nurses would have like 6 or 7, which is not normal. We’re supposed to have like 3,” said Neifing.
The shortage is a major reason for the program.
OC and INTEGRIS hope to make higher education in nursing more accessible and improve the nursing workforce in the future.
“I do feel like it’s really rewarding to be able to have this experience and be able to help the patients who really need it in the moment,” said Hamill.