La Crosse students help meet the demand for nurses

Nearly all of Viterbo University's recent grads have jobs

LA CROSSE, Wis. (WKBT)- It’s likely no surprise that nurses are in high demand.  More people are hospitalized due to the pandemic, and health care systems need more nurses to care for those patients. Students in La Crosse are stepping up to meet the need. 

Viterbro University graduated 50 nurses during its December commencement. Nearly all already have a job.  Nurses are always in demand, but Interim Dean Maryann Abendroth says now nurses are even more critical. The front-line workers are keeping the nation’s healthcare system, stretched to near capacity during a pandemic, running. 

Mayo Clinic Health System has an immediate need for at least 10 registered nurses who will help ease the burden of its current staff.  “All of our nurses are working extra. They are picking up an extra shift every two weeks.”, says Mayo Chief Nursing Officer Jason Fratzke.

The next generation of nurses wilbe welcomed into the profession with open arms and with plenty of job security.  They will lead the way for another class of Viterbo nurses who are just beginning their healthcare careers. “We have a capacity of 75 students for spring (semester) and we are getting very close to that. We are excited.”, explains Abendroth.

Gundersen Health System is also hiring nurses.  Both systems are recruiting patient care assistants and certificated nursing assistants.