Address an Area Nursing Shortage

SouthernTech has made strides in meeting the needs of Ardmore’s business and industrial sector through new programs. Health Program Director Alisha Mason offered some highlights about SouthernTech’s newest offerings and provided a spirited demonstration of CPR during the Ardmore Lion’s Club meeting this week. Mason told the club there has been growth on campus which includes construction of a new building for the aviation program.

The medical program has grown as SouthernTech works to not only meet the demand in the nursing profession but other medical programs. The certified nursing assistant course has been instrumental in serving the area as Elmbrook sends its people to SouthernTech who need to take the CNA course.

Mason said new partnerships will also prove beneficial.

“We do have a little bit of movement and growth within our LPN program,” she said. The movement includes an agreement with Murray State College’s nursing program in which any LPN student from the SouthernTech program who has graduated and met the requirements will receive automatic admission without testing into the RN program. There are currently nine students taking advantage of the opportunity.

Mason said this is her 16th year and it has been a dream of hers to see this type of partnership. She added the pandemic and retirement within the profession helped lead to the partnership which will help address the nursing shortage.

Murray State has also signed an agreement with the University of Oklahoma in which she said the SouthernTech students who attend Murray will also be able to move onto the University of Oklahoma and enter the bachelor’s program for an RN.

“We are also on the precipice of signing another agreement with Murray State College, our medical assisting program,” Mason said. “We have a high school senior option for 32 students. We now offer a medical assisting program that is a little bit shorter, one semester long, 24-week program for the adult enrollment.” Mason said the credits will be the same as for the full-time program for high school students. Both short-time and full-time students will be able to get their certified medical assistant certification and have reserved seating in the occupational therapy assistant program at Murray State.

There are also payment plans for short-term health, that just started and traditional scholarships given to short-term program students and SouthernTech is working to have Pell Grants available as well.