With a nursing shortage plaguing the state, this year's nursing program at North Central Technical College is expanding thanks to a grant from four local hospitals.
The Wisconsin Valley Health Network is made up of hospitals in Wausau, Merrill, Antigo and Medford.
Tuesday, it presented a check for $124,000 to N.T.C. The money is allowing the two-year nursing program to admit nine more students who would otherwise by on a waiting list.
Todd Sann is one of those future nurses.
"There is a lot of people that are waiting in line to get in the program and this is really going to allow more people to enter into the nursing field," said Sann.
In the bigger picture, the partnership provides immediate and local help to the ongoing nursing shortage.
But, in the long term a $20 million nursing facility to be built at N.T.C. will provide expanded nursing education and training in our area.
Leaders at the school say the new expansion should allow up to 700 additional students to graduate each year.