LAS VEGAS, Nev. (FOX5) – As many clinics and hospitals play catch up to the nursing workforce shortage, a Las Vegas clinic is going hands-on with their nurse practitioner students.

FOX5 reported on Safe Harbor Medical previously, as they are the clinic that had to take on hundreds of new patients after a local affordable healthcare facility shut down.

However, with the increase in patients, they tell FOX5 they are thankful they have nursing students learning along with them.

Nurse practitioner Onyx Reed has been with Safe Harbor Medical for five years, but she first started off as a nurse.

“Starting off as a nurse, you don’t get to make the decisions you feel are necessary or best for your patient,” Reed said.

Reed went on to become a nurse practitioner through the UNLV nursing program, all while getting the experience she needed at Safe Harbor.

Now Reed gets to pay it forward to other nursing students who want to take the next step.

“Students need someone to teach them, mold them and show them the right way. There’s only so much you can learn inside the classroom,” Reed said.

From the classroom to the patient room, student Jeffrey Li gets to do it all.

“For a nurse practitioner student, you have to have almost 2,000 hours of just a practicing nurse, and its the requirement to get in this clinic. I was paired up with Safe Harbor,” Li said.

Affordable health care is something many Americans struggle to find.

It is important to note that nurse practitioners and nurses are different. Nurse practitioners are able to treat and make decisions regarding a patient’s health.

“Nurses have to take orders, nurse practitioners get to give orders. They have to know everything, Tina Alicia, CEO of Safe Harbor, said.

Seeing one of her students’ potential is something Alicia said she is looking for when hiring a nurse practitioner who was once a student in her clinic.

“I love that we are a teaching clinic. It helps us so many ways, because first of all, we get to see these young students, raw and growing and learning, and we get to see their work ethic,’ Alicia said.

It is no secret that Nevada needs healthcare workers.

Reports show all 17 counties in the state have some sort of worker shortage.

Reports also show that a great number of Nevada nurses left their jobs after the pandemic.


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