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Community college working to ease nursing shortage

Northern Essex Community College is participating in a national program to address the nursing shortage and make the profession more accessible to people from diverse backgrounds.

The college, with campuses in Haverhill and Lawrence, was recently chosen to participate in the Accelerating and Diversifying Nursing Pathways at Community Colleges Initiative. Funded by the Achieving the Dream organization, the program supports community colleges building stronger pathways to employment in the nursing industry by Blacks, Indigenous people, or other people of color, and in so doing helping ease the nursing shortage.

The 10 community colleges selected will each receive $300,000 over three years to develop and test measures to achieve the program’s ends.


“The goals of the program include strengthening our health care partnerships to collectively increase enrollment, completion, licensure, and job attainment for our health care students,” said Karen Rooney, Northern Essex’ director of grants development. “Strategic partners will share our focus on equity to enhance economic and social mobility for all students, particularly those that have historically been underserved and underrepresented.”

John Laidler can be reached at