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Rendell Administration Kicks Off Health Careers Week; Announces Nursing Investments

Tuesday, November 6, 2007 General News J E 4
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Grants Leverage Private Investment to Add Nurses in 25 Counties; Five 10th Graders Commended for Exploring Vital Health Careers



HARRISBURG, Pa., Nov. 5 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Pennsylvania will have more nurses and more young people interested in future health care careers because of the investment of $742,229 to boost nursing education and today's kick off of Health Careers Week, according to Governor Edward G. Rendell.



"Health Careers Week is one way of showing our commitment to attracting young people to vital careers in the health care industry," Governor Rendell said. "We are continuing to invest in their future through initiatives such as nursing education grants.



"The percentage of Pennsylvania's population over the age of 65 is among the highest of any state in the nation. We are taking tangible steps to ensure we have enough nurses and skilled health care workers to meet our citizens' needs."



During the kick off event, Bradford County 10th grader Allie Olsen was recognized as the winner of a statewide essay contest illustrating the appeal of health careers.



"Careers in health care are not only vital to our quality of life, but they offer competitive pay, opportunities for advancement and rewarding lifestyles," the Governor said. "I applaud Allie and her peers for exploring careers that will keep Pennsylvania's future healthy and their own futures secure."



Health Careers Week is being celebrated across the state with events highlighting careers in the health care industry, especially 16 occupations for which Pennsylvania's demand is highest. The week's activities, including the essay contest, a Health Career Expo in Harrisburg, and scores of similar events across the state, are sponsored by the PA Center for Health Careers in cooperation with more than 40 public and private government, education and health care industry organizations.



The Health Career Expo included hands-on exhibits accompanied by students in high-demand health care occupations.



At a ceremony during the expo, Allie Olsen read her winning essay and received a check for $500 from Highmark, a Health Careers Week partner and sponsoring organization. Four regional winners each received a check for $100.



Health Careers Week and nursing education grants are two elements of Governor Rendell's strategy to address Pennsylvania's shortage of health care workers. Eleven grant recipients will use $668,629 to expand clinical education training for nurses and $73,600 to support Pennsylvania's Loaned Faculty Initiative. Combined with at least $915,063 in private-sector matching funds, the total investment for these projects is nearly $1.7 million.



The Loaned Faculty Initiative supports partnerships between health care employers and nursing education programs to add faculty and increase student enrollment. The grants provide financial incentives to health care employers to lend qualified nurses as faculty to nursing programs that demonstrate a critical need for new faculty to expand their enrollment.



Clinical Education Grants foster the effective use of adjunct, part-time and contracted faculty. They help increase educational quality and enable institutions to expand programs by providing faculty coordination and training. This initiative also enables nursing programs to hire one faculty member dedicated to incorporating simulation technology into the curriculum. The purpose is to provide the most productive and efficient use of simulation labs and increase the number of students nursing programs can enroll.



For more information on Health Careers Week and the 16 high-demand health careers, visit www.state.pa.us, PA Keyword: health careers.



Applications and eligibility guidelines for Loaned Facult
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