BSC Nursing students address nurse shortage by teaching young kids

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BISMARCK, N.D. - Bismarck State College nursing students spent the day teaching 7 to 12 year old children what nurses do.

"How you get an IV into your arm. Or how a flu shot works, or if how you check your heartbeat, what it sounds like,” said 11-year-old Kaitlyn Nadeau, who attended the camp.

Heather Burnley is a nursing student at BSC and says getting kids into science early leads to better chances that they choose this careers.

"They're very absorbent to knowledge. They're the perfect age group to absorb, to ask questions, to explore their curiosity,” said Burnley.

One nursing student has seen firsthand how important nurses are in healthcare.

"I had a premature son that was born 17 weeks early so that gave me the ambition to get into nursing because of the nurses that cared for my son for those four months,” said nursing student Carolee Nagel

Heather says that most children have an interest in science but do not realize it is a part of the nursing field.

"We are all about the science of the human body. So you if you like science, then today we're going to have a great day,” said Burnley.

She uses that curiosity as a teaching tool.

According to the North Dakota Board of Nursing, there's a 13 percent shortage of nurse practitioners and a 7 percent shortage of registered nurses in the state. A 2014 study in Europe showed that an increase in a nurses' workload by one patient increased the likelihood of an inpatient dying within 30 days of admission by 7 percent.