Ochsner Health and Terrebonne General Partner with Fletcher Technical Community College to Expand Nursing and Allied Health Program
Partnership Will Train Next Generation of Healthcare Professionals
Schriever, La. (May 27, 2021) – Today, Ochsner Health (Ochsner), Terrebonne General Health System (Terrebonne General) and Fletcher Technical Community College (Fletcher) announced a partnership to train the next generation of healthcare professionals in Louisiana. Ochsner and Terrebonne General are each investing $1 million to expand the college’s nursing and allied health programs and construct the new, state-of-the-art facility.
“We are excited to provide opportunities for more people to enter the healthcare profession and help Ochsner deliver on its mission and meet the needs of the communities we serve,” said Timothy Allen, CEO, Ochsner Health – Bayou Region, which earlier this year announced a similar partnership to expand the nursing and allied health programs at Delgado Community College in New Orleans.
The partnership will more than triple the Fletcher nursing and allied health program’s enrollment capacity and more than double the size of its faculty. It will also expand the college’s potential to offer new programs including, but not limited to, Radiologic Technologist, Certified Medical Assistant, Medication Attendant Certified, Medical Laboratory Assistant, and Sterile Processing Technician. To house this growth, the new 10,750 square-foot training facility, expected to open for classes in the spring of 2023, will include classrooms and laboratories with state-of-the-art training equipment.
“The pandemic has truly underscored the need for well-trained healthcare professionals and the critical role they play in our communities, and the new expanded program at Fletcher will help ensure we have a highly skilled workforce,” said Phyllis Peoples, president and CEO of Terrebonne General Health System. “We are excited to partner with Ochsner and Fletcher to train future generations of healthcare professionals right here in our community.”
“Currently, many more students apply and meet the criteria to be accepted than we’re able to accommodate. With more faculty and a larger facility, we will be able to meet the growing demand and train more professionals to advance along high-wage career pathways in healthcare,” said Dr. Kristine Strickland, Chancellor, Fletcher. “We’re grateful for the support of Ochsner, the state’s leading healthcare system, and Terrebonne General, our regional hospital, to create life-altering opportunities for people in our community while also building a talent pipeline for our state.”
Louisiana and other states across the country face shortages of nurses and allied health professionals that is expected to intensify. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects an average of 175,900 openings nationally for registered nurses each year over the next ten years, and the Louisiana State Board of Nursing Center for Nursing forecasts a significant shortage of nurses across the state over the next several years. The Bureau of Labor Statistics also projects that the field of allied health to grow 18% by 2026, more than double the growth of other occupations.
Fletcher stands out as a health sciences training provider. It is ranked as a top ten nursing program in Louisiana by RegisteredNursing.org. Through the COVID pandemic, the college has maintained an 89 percent first-time passage rate for the exam required to become a Registered Nurse. It also boasts a 100 percent passage rate for the exam to qualify for the NBRC Certified Respiratory Therapist credential and has a 100 percent job placement rate for both nursing and respiratory therapist students.
“Community colleges play an essential role in our state’s economy and preparing people for success in life,” said Monty Sullivan, President of the Louisiana Community and Technical College System. “We’re grateful to Ochsner and Terrebonne General for partnering with Fletcher. A win-win-win, it benefits the state, the healthcare industry, and the graduates who will enter good-paying, family-sustaining jobs.”
For more information about Fletcher’s programs, please visit www.fletcher.edu.