The Austin Community College District and Dwyer Workforce Development have partnered up to train and skill-up more nurses and help close the healthcare workforce gap in Central Texas.
ACC and DWD created a pathway for students who want to start a career in healthcare as certified nurse aides (CNA). The program offers unique wrap-around services designed to connect students, many historically underrepresented community members, with resources to succeed inside and outside the classroom.
“This collaboration is a win for the Central Texas community. This program provides our students an incredible opportunity to learn, connect with a new promising career, and get the support they need to be successful,” says ACC Chancellor Dr. Richard Rhodes. “This kind of partnership is what it takes to reimagine higher education and eliminate equity gaps. Together we can meet the critical needs in the health care community.”
The program will launch with the college’s fast-track certified nurse aide (CNA) program. Offered through ACC’s Continuing Education Division, the program can be completed in as little as 8 weeks. The students will be designated as “Dwyer Scholars” and receive customized support, including:
● A personal case manager to help them through the application process and address ongoing obstacles they face.
● Additional training support through Workforce Solutions Capital Area and Workforce Solutions Rural Capital Area, when eligible.
● Personal support services such as help finding child care, housing, transportation, and job placement support.
● Continued support for ongoing learning through ACC’s stackable credentials — from an associate degree up to the college’s Bachelor of Science in Nursing at ACC.
Scholars who complete the program can be employed at Dwyer or other healthcare settings in the Austin area.
The partnership also provides additional clinical hours for ACC nursing students through Dwyer clinics.
Texas faces the second largest nursing shortage in the country. The need for nurses will grow to more than 511,000 by 2028 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The Texas Department of State Health Services also says the need for nurses in Texas will quadruple from 2015 to 2030.
The first cohort of Dwyer Scholars will enter the program and begin training in September. Options will be expanded to meet demand. ACC and Dwyer expect to be able to serve hundreds of students