Senator Jacky Rosen toured the William N. Pennington Health Science Center at Truckee Meadows Community College in south Reno Tuesday before sitting down for a roundtable discussion.

She visited with faculty from the veterinarian program, the radiologic technology program, and the Emergency Medical Services program. The roundtable included students, faculty and administrators from the nursing program at TMCC.

"I'm only as strong as the Nevada story," Senator Rosen said at the beginning of the roundtable session. "So I do a lot of round tables and listening tours."

The main reason for the roundtable discussion was to talk about the nursing shortage in the state, but the discussion covered a range of topics.

"Challenges related to our capacity, the funding model and funding streams," Truckee Meadows Community College President Karin Hilgersom says. "The challenges the students have and the concerns the students have for their patients."

When it comes to healthcare, students had a few suggestions to improve preventative care, and give people the resources and education to live healthier lifestyles, especially in rural areas.

"How do we use telemedicine and telehealth to be able to go out to our rural communities and be sure they have healthcare," Rosen says.

"We just see so many people coming into the hospital that have been there multiple times," TMCC student Michael Tobin says. "So how can we prevent them from coming back to the hospital and provide care at home so they can stay at home?"

Tobin was a paramedic before he applied and got accepted to the nursing program. He currently works as a nurse.

When it comes to the nursing shortage, Hilgersom says the school does what it can to train nurses, but they can't expand their program without having more clinical spots for nursing students at hospitals.

"We're going to need industry to help us with that by expanding the number of clinical spots available to Truckee Meadows Community College student nurses," Hilgersom says.

She also says there are states that require hospitals to give priority to public education institutions to fill their clinical openings.

Rosen believes that TMCC can be one of many institutions that helps combat the shortage of nurses.

"So we need to be sure we create platforms and opportunities," Rosen says. whether it's young folks like were here today or people who want to come back and give back when they're a little bit older, to have these kinds of opportunities for training and success right here in the community."

Rosen said during the roundtable that some of the ideas brought up are better suited for state policy rather than federal, but Tobin says he's just happy she's paying attention to healthcare.

"There are a lot of issues that Nevada is facing," Tobin says. "But this is one of the issues that I'm very excited she is addressing and making a priority."