Tough Nursing Programs

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By 20-20 there will be a nursing shortage nationwide of about 800,000 nurses. One of the top nursing program in the region is offered at Truckee Meadows Community College, but some wonder if it's too tough.

Some students say they failed the program by just tenths of a point, but the school director says her job is to prepare students for real experiences. When lives are on the line, in the case of nursing the bar needs to be kept high.

"I know we all say it's tough, it's tough, it's tough but we all learn," says student Lubia Pecoraro.

The Director of Nursing at TMCC says their standards help prepare the students to succeed.

" Our standers are high because we need our graduates to succeed. There is no greater tragedy than to graduated a student who can't get licensed," said Director Karen Foutaine.

" I wouldn't say there is one school that is better than the other, all 3 schools have excellent students," said Nursing St. Mary's Nursing Recruiter Michelle Hughes.

The population of nurses in Nevada has grown 26.7% between 1999-2004. But the Licensed RN to Population ratio has gone down 5.2%. That's according to a registered nursing survey. Even with such a high nursing shortage it's not a job for someone right off the street.

" The second tragedy is to admit a student and not be able to graduate them. so they can be a nurse which we need in Nevada so bad," said Fontaine.

" Nobody has the right to be a nurse. You need to earn this as a skill because we are going to work with patients and the patients will be the ones who suffer," says Pecoraro.

The director of the nursing program says 93-percent of her graduates pass their nursing boards the first time.