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Heartland college and medical center team up to help meet health care workforce needs

The partnership will focus on providing students with hands on learning experience....and give...
The partnership will focus on providing students with hands on learning experience....and give community members quality healthcare options.(BreannaHarris/kfvs)
Published: May. 31, 2022 at 6:58 PM CDT|Updated: Jun. 1, 2022 at 3:49 AM CDT
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POPLAR BLUFF, Mo. (KFVS) - Poplar Bluff Regional Medical Center is teaming up with Three Rivers Community College to address the healthcare workforce needs in the Heartland.

The partnership will focus on providing students with hands on learning experience and give community members quality healthcare options.

“We’re pretty excited because it’s a big opportunity for us not only to engage our students a little bit more but were providing for the community,” said Laura McElroy, nursing program director with Three Rivers College.

McElroy is talking about working alongside the Poplar Bluff Regional Medical Center to help meet the health care needs of the area.

“It is an opportunity we’ve been looking for for a long time. But we’ve encountered massive nursing shortages so that’s something were excited to get a solution to,” McElroy said.

Nick Naegler, CEO of Poplar Bluff’s Regional Medical Center, says the ultimate goal of this partnership is to provide more educational opportunities for the students.

“When you think about southeast Missouri where we’re located at -- here we’re kind of in an island to ourselves, and so the demand on healthcare continues to go up, the hospitals remain busy,” said Naegler.

Naeglar believes in order to recruit more nurses they would need to provide easy access to training and certification in the area.

“There’s a lot of paramedics in the area that would have to travel very long distances to become a registered nurse so when we talked about these types of things -- it was a great response -- as in yes, we can do this,” Naegler said.

McElroy says meeting the needs of not only the students, but the community is top priority.

“Our goal is to provide better outcomes for our community, we want stronger graduates, and we want our community to be cared for by the best healthcare providers that we can provide,” McElroy said.

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