Governor Kulongoski Launches Program to Keep Quality Teachers & Nurses in Oregon

Governor Kulongoski launched a new program to expand access to higher education for all Oregonians and to keep Oregon’s brightest here at home. Teach for Oregon and Care for Oregon are new programs that, through a partnership with the State of Oregon and the Sallie Mae student loan company, have been implemented and will repay up to 10% of federal Stafford loan balances for teachers and nurses who earn their degree at an Oregon institution.

Oregon is facing a drastic shortage of both nurses and teachers in the state. This new program, brought about through Governor Kulongoski’s commitment to expand access to higher education to Oregonians, is one that will decrease the shortages in the nursing and educational fields. Caring for our families and educating our young people are two crucial roles in our society and these new programs will create incentives to motivate our brightest students to stay in Oregon and fill these roles.

According to a 2005 report by the Oregon Center for Nursing, the demand for full time registered nurses will increase by more than 15,000 over the next 15 years. The report also highlights that nearly one half of Oregon’s registered nurses are above the age of 50, and by 2025, 41% of currently licensed RNs are expected to retire. The Teacher Standards and Practices Commission of Oregon projects teacher shortages in special education as well as mathematics, foreign languages, technology, and science. These shortages signal the need for qualified people in the nursing and educational fields, and Governor Kulongoski’s new programs Care for Oregon and Teach for Oregon are two programs that are designed to curb these shortages and improve Oregonians lives.

These programs are just one example of Governor Kulongoski’s commitment to education and workforce training. Care for Oregon and Teach for Oregon highlight the Governor’s dedication to creating access and giving opportunity to all of Oregon’s students so that they can stay in Oregon to pursue their careers. Currently, many of our brightest students leave the state for other educational opportunities and do not return home to join the workforce. These incentives, designed for the nursing and educational fields, are one step towards implementing a seamless educational system and keeping our brightest students here in Oregon.

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Posted on November 29, 2005
Education, Front Page News