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Duke, Durham Tech partner to address nursing shortage

Leaders at Duke and Wake Tech hold up partnership agreement.

Pilot program provides mentorship, funding for Durham Tech nursing students  

Duke University Health System, Duke Office of Durham and Community Affairs and Durham Technical Community College are joining forces to address the national nursing labor shortage crisis impacting North Carolina.

The collaborative endeavor is aligned with Duke’s Strategic Community Impact Plan (SCIP) goal of supporting college and career-readiness through talent and workforce development, including partnering with public education and regional universities.

Duke nurses, like Crystal Senter, serve as faculty at Durham Technical, participating in clinical instruction in the classroom and the lab. Before finding her way back to Duke as a Clinical Nurse Educator for Instructional Design with Duke University Health System in 2019, Crystal was a faculty member at a community college for almost four years. 

Crystal smiles in blouse

I am passionate about trying to teach 'outside the box' to make learning the vast amounts of information required in the nursing program achievable for students. I feel Duke Health has been granted the opportunity to assist nursing students in becoming practice-ready for a demanding, ever-changing career in healthcare. I am excited to see how this partnership will grow and flourish.

Crystal Senter 

Clinical Nurse Educator for Instructional Design, Duke University Health SystemWith Duke since 2019

Supporting new nurses 

In addition to teaching, the health system is providing funding and sharing simulation and nurse aide training resources with the college.

This agreement comes at a critical time. Nationally, 22% of nurses are predicted to leave bedside care. A Mercer Report study also found that North Carolina is one of 21 states that will fall short of filling the demand for qualified registered nurses by at least 1,000 nurses by 2026.

“We see this collaboration as an opportunity to advance greater economic stability and economic mobility within the communities we serve,” said Craig Albanese, M.D., chief executive officer of Duke University Health System. “The agreement will promote career awareness, career readiness, and education as well as increase the number of registered nurses, licensed practical nurses and certified nurse aides entering the workforce at DUHS.”

Since July 1, Duke nurses have been preparing students by teaching advanced classes, providing mentorship, and sharing feedback and support. 

    Deanna smiling in blue scrubs with a colorful Duke shield in the background.

    Deanna's journey back to Duke and into nursing 

    It's never too late to pursue your passion. After working with us for more than a decade, Deanna followed her nursing dreams and raised her young children before rejoining us here where she always felt she belongs. 

    Watch her story

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