The ongoing pandemic has left a lasting shortage of nurses.

But now college nursing programs are working with the Arkansas State Board of Nursing to fill in the gaps.

The board issued more than 19-hundred registered nursing licenses, and almost 850 practical nursing licenses last year.

It has been trying to get more nurses into the workforce to address the issues.

One of the adjustments was changing how students get clinical experience

“One thing that we couldn’t do in Arkansas beforehand, we had a rule that says students could not receive pay for their clinical experiences, and during the state of emergency we waived that rule, so we encouraged schools and hospitals to partner for this partnership,” explains Sue Tedford, Arkansas State Board of Nursing.

There are still a limited number of clinical slots available for students.

So, some college nursing programs have had to find alternatives, like simulations.

Others have also started admitting nursing students in both the fall and spring semesters.