Ivy Tech Indianapolis. (photo courtesy: Ivy Tech Community College)

In the face of a nursing shortage in Indiana, Ivy Tech Community College is expanding its nursing program with the help of Indiana University Health. The health system has awarded Ivy Tech an $8.75 million grant to help grow the program and increase student enrollment.

Quoting data from labor market analytics firm Emsi/Burning Glass, IU Health says there are 4,300 annual openings in Indiana for nurses today, with a need for another 5,000 nurses by 2031. For comparison, IU Health employs approximately 9,000 nurses statewide.

“Currently there are qualified applicants each year in Indiana who are turned away from nursing schools due to limitations on teaching space, clinical placement availability and faculty resources said IU Health Executive Vice President and Chief Nurse Executive Jason Gilbert. “It is incumbent upon health systems, working with our educational partners, to support an expansion of the educational pipeline to allow more qualified students to become professional nurses.”

Ivy Tech says it will increase nursing admissions by 600 students annually by 2025. The school says it has been actively developing a plan for increasing nursing enrollment that includes investments in equipment, supplies and faculty.

The college estimates those investments will require $8.7 million in recurring costs over three years as well as $12.1 million in one-time costs.

“This grant will be a huge step in helping Ivy Tech meet the needs of our health system partners in a real and practical way,” said Sue Ellspermann, president of Ivy Tech. “Our ability to educate nurses and keep them in our state will create real value for our economy and the health of Indiana.”

Ivy Tech currently offers nursing programs at 18 of its 19 campuses. It plans to launch a program at the new Hamilton County by early 2023.