Nursing shortage in Southeast Texas

At just CHRISTUS St. Elizabeth Hospital alone, more than 120 nursing positions are open.

BEAUMONT, Texas — Lamar Institute of Technology is on a mission to get their newest nursing school fully board certified in order to combat an ongoing nursing shortage. 

At just CHRISTUS St. Elizabeth Hospital alone, more than 120 nursing positions are open.

LIT is trying to bridge this gap by educating area students who will stay and work in Southeast Texas. 

Dr. Leann Chisholm-Springer is the LIT Director of Nursing. She is from Port Arthur and an alumna of Lamar University.

“I was a working student. I understand and that’s one of the things that I love about LIT. LIT’s mission is to help students where they are,” she said. 

She wants to help other working nurses.

“I don’t like to think about a student making a choice of do I work to support my family or do I go to school or get trained so that I can do a better job supporting my family. Why can’t they do both?” Chisholm-Springer said. 

The new nursing school at LIT would provide opportunities to non-traditional students and offer weekend and evening classes. 

The final step of this dream is letters of support from hospitals and local cities to be given to the Texas Board of Nursing. 

CHRISUS St. Elizabeth has offered their support. 

“I think a program like this would be great. I’m actually a nurse and whenever I was in nursing school I did work full time, and you know I think that’s a great option to offer to people. Because it’s very difficult to work full time and go to nursing school during the week. You know, with clinicals and everything else,” said CHRISTUS St. Elizabeth Nurse Recruiter, Kim Ramirez. 

Beaumont City Council signed their letter of support earlier this week.

The Texas Center for Nursing Workforce Services predicts that the Gulf Coast will need more then 13,000 nurses by 2030.

“But Southeast Texas needs nurses and we need nurses who understand Southeast Texas, Southwest Louisiana. They’re engaged in the community, they’re invested, they’re rooted in the community. We want students who are from here. Who are educated here to stay here and work and take care of our community,” Chisholm-Springer said. 

Lamar Institute of Technology hopes to receive full board approval from the Texas Board of Nursing by next summer. 

Baptist Hospital and the Medical Center of Southeast Texas have also offered letters of support. 

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