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Rell to Cut Funding for Nurse Training Program
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Educators, nurses and legislators are reacting with alarm to news that Governor Rell will cut state funding for an adult nurse-training program.  WNPR’s Diane Orson reports.

In an effort to close a looming state budget deficit, Governor Rell has announced she’ll suspend funding for a licensed practical nursing program offered at ten technical high schools in the state. The course is geared to adults and trains about 350 new LPNs each year. Governor Rell says there’s currently an adequate supply of LPNs, and future training is available through private programs.

But private education can cost twice as much as the state-supported program. And according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the demand for LPNs is expected to increase as baby boomers age. Critics of the cut say it may produce short-term savings, but could create long-term workforce shortages. Lawmakers, nurses and educators plan to speak out against the cuts at a gathering in Hartford on Tuesday. 

For WNPR, I'm Diane Orson.