Dr. Monica Scheibmeir Dean/Professor of School of Nursing

Currently in the Topeka community, there are at least 40-60 open positions right now.

Statewide there is a nursing shortage. Many hospitals and clinics in smaller communities are having a difficult time recruiting and retaining bachelor’s prepared nurses to work in those facilities. For example, the Salina Regional Hospital, as of last May, that hospital alone had 30 open positions. The hospital at Emporia, had 15 open positions for a much smaller hospital.

Nationwide, there are many opportunities for work across the nation. Probably California is one of the few states that doesn’t have a lot of vacancies because they have so many nursing programs.

For nursing graduates there will be multiple opportunities in critical care areas if that is in fact the area that they like. For others, where they are somewhat uncertain, there are multiple opportunities in the ambulatory side, or outpatient side.

Many clinics give many opportunities for employment. It’s more so what their interest is in healthcare relative to the positions.

Washburn offers graduate degrees, including a masters in organizational nursing called clinical nurse leader, the doctorate programs that include becoming a family nurse practitioner, an adult geriatric nurse practitioner or a psychiatric health nurse practitioner.

We are phasing out our masters program for nurse practitioners and are replacing it with the doctorate program for nurse practitioners.

There will be multiple opportunities in their lifetime for job change. Students may find that they are quite satisfied with their nursing role, but about 50 percent do choose to go on to graduate school as found by our graduate surveys.

Students have had more exposure now to advanced practice roles, maybe in surgery or in the hospital in general, and it may be what’s peaking their interest.

Students can come back to add to their associates degree later from a community college, or choose to retrain for a different position.