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Building Up the Backbone of Healthcare

Published online: May 02, 2024 Health & Wellness
Viewed 753 time(s)

By Savannah Kim

Every time a family welcomes a new baby into the world, a sick patient comes into the emergency room or a loved one heads into an operating room for surgery, a nurse is there. Nurses do so much more than simply offer patients care. Nurses give comfort in times of pain, provide celebration during moments of joy and guidance when patients have questions about their treatment. 

Nurses are the backbone of America’s healthcare system.

“Words cannot fully express the gratitude I feel for each of the nurses who work at Mountain View Hospital and Idaho Falls Community Hospital,” said Marian Walker, director of nursing for both hospitals. “I see the sacrifices these women and men are making on a daily basis to provide the best care for our community and I could not be more proud to work alongside them.” 

While healthcare could not be provided without doctors, nurses play an equally critical role. Mountain View Hospital depends on its nearly 450 nurses to treat the thousands of patients the hospital sees each year. The 200-plus nurses at Idaho Falls Community Hospital make caring for severely ill and trauma patients possible. 

“Our nurses are world-class,” said Walker. “They are experts in their field and work closely with doctors to make sure patients receive timely, comprehensive care. But it is their kindness that sets them apart. I’ve regularly seen our nurses bring in presents for our patients, drive people home when they didn’t have a ride or stay after their shifts to spend time with patients who seem a little lonely.”

Unfortunately, according to a recent study from the National Council of State Boards of Nursing, approximately 100,000 registered nurses across America have left the field over the past two years.

Mountain View Hospital and Idaho Falls Community Hospital understand just how devastating the consequences of a nursing shortage could be for patients if left unaddressed, so both hospitals recently joined forces with the College of Eastern Idaho to form the Idaho Healthcare Institute. 

“The Idaho Healthcare Institute is working to address nursing shortages across Idaho by making training programs more accessible for students,” said Leslie Wilson, Idaho Healthcare Institute’s executive director. “The College of Eastern Idaho has excellent training programs. We are helping them reach more students by offering scholarships, hiring more instructors and expanding their classroom space and simulation lab.”

Since the Idaho Healthcare Institute opened in the spring of 2023, it has awarded 44 scholarships to students pursuing their certified nursing assistant (CNA) certificate, another 20 to individuals who are training to become licensed practical nurses (LPN) and 10 scholarships to deserving students working on their registered nurse (RN) degree in the College of Eastern Idaho’s RN bridge program. 

“We are helping build the next generation of nurses to care for the growing needs of our region,” said Wilson. 

Some of the scholarships the Idaho Healthcare Institute has awarded have gone to nurses at Mountain View Hospital and Idaho Falls Community Hospital who want to advance their careers, including Truman Langevin, a CNA at Idaho Falls Community Hospital. 

Langevin is currently working on his LPN at the Idaho Healthcare Institute and set to graduate this month. He discovered his passion for nursing when his ailing great-grandmother moved in with his family. He earned his CNA certificate while he was still in high school and started working at Idaho Falls Community Hospital. The scholarship from the Idaho Healthcare Institute allowed him to continue his education. 

“Right out of high school, I didn’t have any money – at all,” said Langevin. “I think that without the scholarship, I wouldn’t have been able to go on to get my LPN or RN. It kickstarted my career because it helped me stay focused, stay on track, worry less about money and more about how I get to a position where I can help people.” 

Langevin has already won the hearts of many patients at Idaho Falls Community Hospital with his friendly demeanor and attentiveness. He will continue to work at the hospital after he graduates, but take more responsibility as an LPN.  

If caring for patients and making a difference in their lives interests you, visit IdahoHealthcareInstitute.com to learn how you can start a career in healthcare. 

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