- Hospital operator HCA now has a majority stake in the parent company of Galen College of Nursing, one of the largest private nursing school operators, the chain said Tuesday. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
- The nation's largest hospital operator, which has about 94,000 registered nurses in its facilities, said this arrangement will help foster a pipeline of nurses.
- Galen, which is based in Louisville, Kentucky, has campuses in four states and offers various nursing degrees.
Attracting nurses is key for providers as the U.S. population continues to skew older and will require more healthcare resources.
Employment is expected to grow at a fast clip, outpacing the average growth rates for all other occupations, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statics. Nursing employment is projected to grow 12% over a 10-year period from 2018 to 2028, according to BLS figures.
Meanwhile, more experienced nurses are continuing to retire at a rapid pace and new nurses are just entering the profession, eclipsing the number of mid-career nurses, the consulting firm Advisory Board noted in a recent report.
This trends creates a gap in experience, which can pose risks, according to that report.
For its part, HCA said it will continue to invest in "technologies, capital improvements and infrastructure that support nurses professionally and personally."
HCA wants to be the premier destination for nurses, the company's Chief Nurse Executive Jane Englebright said in a statement.
The name of the nursing school will remain the same and CEO Mark Vogt will continue in his role. Galen will continue to focus on growth strategies for future locations, HCA said in a statement Tuesday, though it did not point to any areas of future expansion.
"The partnership will strive to develop innovative and evidence-based curriculum to prepare nurses for today's workforce and best meet the needs of patients," HCA said in a statement.
HCA owns two other nursing schools, Research College of Nursing and Mercy School of Nursing.