Health System, School Join To Train Nurses, Health Workers

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — A Louisiana health system and a community college in New Orleans are joining forces to expand training for nurses and allied health professionals.

Ochsner Health is putting up $10 million for a new building to consolidate Delgado Community College’s Allied Health Division and its Charity School of Nursing, the health system and college said in a news release.

An equal amount will cover full-time tuition for Ochsner employees in nursing and allied health programs at Delgado, which graduates about 1,200 nursing and allied health professionals each year.

“The events of recent months have increased awareness regarding the necessity for a well-trained, dedicated healthcare workforce in the city, region and state,” said Larissa Littleton-Steib, Delgado’s chancellor. She said the college is pleased to be partners with Ochsner.

The new building is slated to break ground in the spring and open for classes in 2023. The combined department will be called the Ochsner Delgado School of Nursing and Allied Health.

“Together, we are creating a talent pipeline that will meet the long-term needs of our community,” said Warner Thomas, president and CEO, Ochsner Health.

The announcement comes at a time when the Louisiana State Board of Nursing Center for Nursing forecasts a significant shortage of nurses across the state, the news release said. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects an average of 175,900 openings nationally for registered nurses each year over the next ten years.

“Nursing and allied health occupations continue to be among the most in-demand professions in the country, and as the current health crisis continues, it is more important than ever that we provide greater access and produce more essential personnel to move our state and country forward, said Monty Sullivan, president of the Louisiana Community and Technical College System.