Date of this Version
INSTRUCTIONAL LEADERSHIP ABSTRACTS, Volume 12, Issue 1, January, 2020
Healthcare in the United States has been on the forefront of people’s minds for the last decade. In rural areas of our country this is even more prominent. The cost of healthcare is only a small piece of the puzzle. Rural areas of our country also must worry about access to healthcare, and quality healthcare. It is not uncommon in rural Nebraska for people to travel more than an hour to have access to quality healthcare. This is something I see everyday from two different perspectives. As the Vice President for Academic Affairs at a small rural community college in Nebraska, we talk daily about the demands on our programs and students. I am routinely asked about the shortage of nurses in our area and how our college is helping address those needs. The shortage doesn’t start or end at nurses. The shortage includes nurse aides, medical technicians, lab assistants, and flows over into other areas of healthcare like dental practices. The other perspective I have is that of a member of our local hospital board. From that side of the fence I see how our local hospital struggles to staff positions, attract quality physicians to a rural area, and ensure that they are providing quality healthcare services to our region. Mid-Plains Community College in West Central Nebraska is working in several ways to help meet these shortages and provide quality learning experiences for our students. Below are some of the ways that we are approaching healthcare assistance in our communities. These stories and excerpts were taken from Mid-Plains Community College. Many thanks to Heather Johnson for her work on authoring these stories.