Odessa, Texas (KMID/KPEJ) -“We know life is crazy for some folks. There’s some single parents out there that may want to be in the healthcare field but they can’t find a financial way to do that. And today we’re partnered up with Odessa College to take that barrier out of the way,” said Medical Center Health System CEO Russell Tippin.

That partnership has resulted in a new scholarship program that will help cover the cost of nursing school tuition at Odessa College while guaranteeing at least two years of employment at Medical Center Hospital following graduation.

“We need all the nurses and providers we can get, so our goal is to fill that plus more,” said Tippin.

Tyler Lowrey is training to be a registered nurse and has already applied for the new scholarship.

“Nursing school is very hard and very stressful. So I do believe (this scholarship) will help a lot of people take that financial stress off of them while they have everything else to stress about,” said Lowrey.

Nursing shortages aren’t unique to West Texas but that’s not stopping Medical Center Health System and Odessa College from leading the way when it comes to shortage solutions, and for good reason.

“Nationwide, we have a shortage of nurses. Every organization deals with it. Every community deals with it, so we’re not unique to that issue. But you see that nursing is the heart of healthcare,” said Medical Center Health System Chief Nursing Officer Christin Timmons.