Mar 2, 2010 6:17 PM by Greg Boyce
Four state colleges in Pueblo and Colorado Springs have joined with Kaiser Permanente open opportunities to more than a hundred of people who may want to work in the health care field.
The million dollar program will support careers in nursing and front line health care professionals such as lab/radiology technicians and medical assistants.
The majority of money, $750,000, will provide more than 100 scholarships to students pursuing degrees in nursing or other health professions at The University of Colorado at Colorado Springs, Pikes Peak Community College, Colorado State University Pueblo, and Pueblo Community College. An additional $250,000 will be made avaialable to a loan repayment program for health care professionals already employed by area safety net clinics.
In the nursing field alone, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, more than one million new and replacement nurses will be needed in the U.S. by 2016.
The effort is believed the first in Colorado to tie loan repayment for health professionals to community clinics called "safety nets," which provide free or low-cost care to underserved patients. Often, these facilities struggle to recruit or retain health care workers. In Colorado, the average safety net staff turnover rate is about one in four each year.
To qualify for these scholarships or loan repayments, individuals must commit to working two years in a designated safety net clinic.