Georgia College & State University forms 3rd cohort to address state nursing shortage

Tuesday, June 28, 2022 at 7:15pm UTC

Milledgeville, Georgia, June 28, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- COVID 19, nurse retirement and burnout have led to an all-time shortage of nurses.

To address this pressing need, Georgia College & State University (GCSU) has added a third cohort of nursing students to its Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree program.

“It is estimated that an additional 175,900 registered nurses (RNs) will exit the workforce each year for personal reasons or through retirement,” said Josie Doss, interim director and associate professor in GCSU's School of Nursing.

“Though Georgia has around 100,000 RNs,” she said, “we still have one of the lowest densities in the nation. We’re preparing nurses to fill that need.”

The cohort of 40 students is on an accelerated path—the first of its kind at GCSU—with students anticipated to graduate in only 15 months. They’ll attend classes for four continuous semesters, including summers, allowing them to graduate faster than their peers.

Quality instruction isn’t being sacrificed for numbers, however.

“We’re giving students the tools they need in their undergraduate years, so they’re prepared for the workforce,” said Morgan Fordham, lecturer of nursing. 

“I’m teaching them high-pressure situation skills and stress management techniques to help them after they graduate,” she said. "It’s not enough to have warm bodies in healthcare. A good quality nurse is going to save a life.”

Summer classes are Monday through Thursday in the accelerated cohort with eight-hour clinicals Mondays and Wednesdays. The cohort will then follow a typical fall and spring schedule, graduating summer 2023.

“The cohort is fast-paced and one of the hardest things I’ve had to do so far,” said junior nursing major Rachel Najjar. “They care about us learning, not making mistakes in the future and really preparing us for whatever can happen in the nursing world and real life.”


Cindy O'Donnell
Georgia College & State University