5,000 Nurses in Ten Years

That’s the estimate of what Rhode Island will need for the health care work force. A new charter school is focused on vocational training…


They are the nurses of the future in a classroom setting that’s unique.

The Rhode Island Nurses Institute Middle College, a new charter school in Providence, opened Monday with a ribbon-cutting ceremony.

“A brand new model that creates a bridge from high school to college, and that’s a very exceptional thing,” said superintendent Robert Pilkington.

The school incorporates grades 10, 11, 12 and something called 12-plus.

“And during that fifth year of high school, the students are dually enrolled. They stay in the high school environment for safety and supportiveness, but they’re challenged with the college curriculum so that when they graduate from our 12-plus year, they’ll be college sophomores,” Pilkington said.

So many students sit in classrooms with no clear idea of how education translates into vocation. These students know that jobs are waiting for them, I wish we could say that to all our youth– give them a sense that they are wanted and needed.

There will inevitably be students who complete this program, and realize that nursing is not for them. What will they have to show for their five years? A solid grounding in math and biological sciences, a habit of thinking of how education can translate into skills that benefit society. They’ll have a head start on college.

I hope Nurses Institute makes time for some liberal arts. You don’t get through a nursing career without something to feed your soul.