Stemming from conversations last June on how to more effectively serve students and support the regional economy, the Far North Center of Excellence (COE) has been participating in a partnership with Lassen Community College as the college works with area four-year universities to offer a program that would allow Lassen students to pursue a bachelor’s degree in registered nursing.
Analysis by the Far North COE shows a severe nursing shortage in the region. Between 2020 and 2025, 417 job openings are projected each year. Over the last three academic years, an average of 265 awards were conferred by community colleges in the region for registered nursing, suggesting an undersupply of workers. This translates to an unmet need for 152 registered nurses in the region. Furthermore, registered nurse is the top occupation on the list of hard-to-fill jobs in the Far North region.
These findings have spurred educational leaders in the region to explore how to advance nursing education in the region to address the existing workforce gap, with expanded program delivery in the works.