Paula Chytraus took 20 years off nursing to raise her four children.

But she returned to the profession in 1988 after her husband lost his job and their four children were enrolled in college.After three months of classwork and 48 hours of nursing, Chytraus graduated from Intermoutain Health Care's refresher course. "The language has changed," Chytraus said. "I went to report and they talk a different language."

The nursing refresher course is one way the medical field is working to compensate for the ongoing shortage in nurses. That's crucial at a time when more than 1,000 Utah medical personnel have been deployed as part of Operation Desert Shield, and yet students face long waiting lists at Utah's nursing schools.

About 60 people attended an IHC open house at LDS Hospital Tuesday night held to publicize the course.

Michelle Corless, program director for the Associate Degree Nurses at IHC and Weber State College, said the course is the only one offered in the Mountain West. This year students from Australia and Japan are enrolled, as the course prepares them to sit for the international boards.