Originally aired on KAKE-TV – March 23, 2021
Right now, healthcare professionals are breathing a sigh of relief as the pandemic eases.
Nurses across the country were stretched thin over the past year with too many sick patients and not enough nurses to care of them.
A Kansas school found that kids may be the key to preventing nursing shortages in the future.
Ivana Gloria, a 10th grader at the Insight School of Kansas, says the school is preparing her to enter the healthcare field when she’s older.
“Learning the aspects of the job, the benefits, the risks…” she says.
Gloria says the pandemic was one of the things that inspired her to pursue healthcare as a career.
“Since there’s a shortage of nurses and people in general in the healthcare fields, I was like ‘Yeah, I do need to do… to step up more’ and it was like a call,” she says.
Gloria enrolled in the Insight School of Kansas which is an online public school. It offers pathways of study in information technology, business and health.
“Our goal with our program is to expose students to a variety of in-demand career fields and allow them to kind of explore their interest inside and outside of the classroom and develop a better understanding of their options available to them post high school,” says Ashley Anderson, an Insight School of Kansas career prep coordinator.
The school helps students get internships and job shadowing opportunities in the field of their choice.
“Through the pandemic, it’s really become apparent to us that there is a nursing shortage,” says Anderson. “There is a need for this career field and it almost is job security and a guaranteed career choice that they can have some success in.”
According to NurseJournal, Texas and California experienced the brunt of the shortage. Those states had fewer than 10 nurses for every 1,000 people in 2019.
Kansas did better, with a little more than 14 nurses per 1,000 people.
Wyoming was among the best with nearly 20 nurses per 1,000. But every healthcare professional started out as a young person with the hope to impact lives.
And Gloria is using what she’s been taught at the Insight School to do just that.
“My grandma has Type 2 diabetes and since the Wellness Program, the project I was doing, was finding out how you can treat Type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure and high sugar levels– when she was going through a fever, I felt powerful because I knew what to do. I knew how to reassure her that she’s gonna be fine,” says Gloria.
To learn more about the Insight School of Kansas, visit insightks.k12.com