Durham Tech, Duke University Health System Partner to Create Nursing Talent Pipeline 

Duke University Health System, Duke Office of Durham and Community Affairs and Durham Technical Community College are joining forces to address the national nursing labor shortage crisis impacting North Carolina. 

The collaborative endeavor is aligned with Duke’s Strategic Community Impact Plan (SCIP) goal of supporting college and career-readiness through talent and workforce development, including partnering with public education and regional universities. 

Duke nurses will serve as faculty at Durham Technical, participating in clinical instruction. The health system will also provide funding and share simulation and nurse aide training resources with the college. 

A ceremony celebrating the signing of the agreement was held June 21. 

This agreement comes at a critical time. Nationally, 22% of nurses are predicted to leave bedside care. A Mercer Report study also found that North Carolina is one of 21 states that will fall short of filling the demand for qualified registered nurses by at least 1,000 nurses by 2026. The state currently has a shortage of 13,112 registered nurses. 

"We are fortunate to have a strong community partner in Duke that helps create outstanding career pathways for our students," Durham Tech President J.B. Buxton said. "We are proud of the work we do to develop robust talent pipelines for employers in our community, and this new collaboration showcases just how well we can do that to benefit the region.” 

“We see this collaboration as an opportunity to advance greater economic stability and economic mobility within the communities we serve,” said Craig Albanese, M.D., chief executive officer of Duke University Health System. “The agreement will promote career awareness, career readiness, and education as well as increase the number of registered nurses, licensed practical nurses and certified nurse aides entering the workforce at DUHS.” 

Duke nurses will prepare students by teaching advanced classes, providing mentorship, and sharing feedback and support. This in turn will lead to retention of registered nurses at Duke by granting them more opportunities to instruct at the bedside and recruit more nursing students to DUHS. 

“This is a significant reciprocal partnership,” said Stelfanie Williams, vice president for Duke Community Affairs. “It amplifies and maximizes the impact that each of our organizations can have alone, keeping at its heart, the needs of our communities.”