White, Carrie

Building a Stronger Healthcare Workforce: The Role of Central Virginia Community College and Centra

At Virginia’s Community Colleges, providing a platform for businesses and students to connect and thrive is a focal point in bridging the gap between education and industry. Through strategic partnerships with companies across the state, community colleges like Central Virginia Community College (CVCC) are cultivating a talented workforce, equipping students with the skills and knowledge needed to succeed in in-demand fields like healthcare.

As a Nursing Business Strategist at Centra, Carrie White has dedicated her career to supporting healthcare professionals and addressing barriers in the nursing workforce, making her a key player in this critical effort.

“Education is important. Creating a pipeline of employees interested in healthcare careers,” said White. “Turnover in healthcare after Covid continues to be a big problem. We really want to get that pipeline coming, not just of registered nurses, but also those helpful roles like CNAs, LPNs and PCTs.”

Addressing Workforce Challenges

All across the commonwealth, the shortage of skilled healthcare professionals needed to meet the growing demand for quality care continues to be a concern. A critical need has arisen for new talent to enter the field, bringing fresh perspectives and skills to help bridge the gap. White understands how difficult healthcare work can be, but also knows just how important and fulfilling it truly is.

“Healthcare is incredibly rewarding. There’s not a day that I don’t come to work and learn something new, and there’s just something really spiritual about helping others and caring for others through their weakest moments,” said White.

Empowering Students and Professionals

CVCC and Centra have joined forces to empower students and professionals to pursue their passion in healthcare. Through their partnership, they offer accessible education and hands-on training programs, providing a clear path for individuals to make a meaningful impact in the healthcare industry. For White, ensuring retention and empowering workers with what they need to succeed is an imperative part of her job and one she does not take lightly.

“I enjoy meeting people where they are,” said White. We try to get to our bedside staff to see what they need to stay engaged, what their biggest barriers are, and what they are fighting against. And we try to really give them that development and give them the tools to be successful, whether it be going back to college or taking different classes to advance.”

Carrie White has made a career of building up and supporting those in the healthcare field and is no stranger to the transformative power of community college. As a former CVCC student, community college’s impact on students resonates most with her.  

“So, I feel like community college meant a lot to me. I went to a community college. I had gone to a traditional four-year college, and it just didn’t work out for me. But I started at community college and went to Central College and did probably the longest pathway to nursing.” Reflected White. “Community college really supported me through that financially. That’s a big thing, it gives people the chance, and if they have that drive and desire, it works for them.”

By working together, CVCC and Centra are creating a brighter future for healthcare professionals and the communities they serve. Their partnership shows a commitment to coming together and building a stronger healthcare workforce.