Cute little teddy bears dressed in crisp white nurses’ uniforms graced the desks of every JFAC member this morning, as the joint committee heard budget pitches from the College of Southern Idaho and North Idaho College. Both colleges want to expand their nursing education programs. Gov. Butch Otter has recommended funding for new nursing ed buildings at CSI and at LCSC, but not for more faculty, pay and training – though those were recommended by a state nursing task force.
Jerry Beck, CSI president, said nursing students in his campus Surg-Tech Club have been selling the little bears as a fundraiser. They come in various colors and some have little surgical masks or other outfits, but JFAC was presented with all nursing bears. “They’ve been around campus six months,” Beck said, “so they decided they wanted to give members of JFAC something to think about.”
JFAC Co-Chair Rep. Maxine Bell, R-Jerome, thanked Beck for his presentation at the end of his budget pitch, and added, “Especially thank you for the little nurse – I don’t plan to need one.” That prompted some good-natured murmurs about how everyone needs one eventually.