Individuals interested in pursuing a degree in radiography can now get their start at Mid-Plains Community College.
A new agreement between MPCC and the University of Nebraska Medical Center will allow Mid-Plains students to complete 26 credit hours eligible for transfer to the UNMC College of Allied Health Professions’ radiography program, should the students be accepted.
Dr. Tammy Webster, UNMC’s radiography program director, said the College of Allied Health Professions is excited about the partnership, which will allow future radiographers to get a start on their education while remaining closer to their hometowns.
“This partnership supports our mission to provide exemplar educational opportunities across the state, while helping fill Nebraska’s health care workforce needs,” Webster said.
After students finish their two years at UNMC and earn a radiography degree, they can transfer back some of their UNMC credits to also obtain an associate degree from Mid-Plains.
Prior to the agreement, students interested in pursuing radiography had to go directly to the eastern end of the state for instruction.
“We have been working on this for about a year, and it is exciting to see it come to fruition,” said Dr. Jody Tomanek, area vice president of academic affairs and NPCC. “The idea began as a desire to help Great Plains Health secure more radiographers. In addition to filling a need in the community, this agreement adds to our existing partnerships with GP Health and the Med Center. It’s always my goal to provide opportunities for students, and this is just another opportunity for students in our area to start here then transfer on.”
There were 93 radiography-related jobs in MPCC’s 18-county service area in 2019, the most recent full year for which data is available. That’s higher than the national average, according to labor market analytics firm Emsi. Emsi data shows a total of 1,796 radiography-related jobs statewide in 2019.
Employment of radiographers in both MPCC’s service area and throughout Nebraska is expected to increase at a rate faster than the national average over the next decade. That’s due to an aging population that will need additional medical imaging as well as the anticipated retirement of many existing radiographers.
Emsi indicates the retirement risk in MPCC’s service area and Nebraska is higher than the national average with more than 400 radiography professionals 55 or older in the state.
“We applaud Mid-Plains Community College’s leadership in their efforts to develop health care professionals in our region,” said Fiona Libsack, Great Plains Health chief development officer. “Giving local students the opportunity to grow in medical professions without having to leave the community is the best strategy for ensuring that our region’s hospitals have the professionals they need to serve area patients with quality care.”
Those interested in receiving more information, or in registering for classes, can contact a MPCC advisor at (308) 535-3701 in North Platte or (308) 345-8110 in McCook.