Students take advantage of nursing shortage

Nursing students get to work with life-like manikins at Calhoun Community College.
Nursing students get to work with life-like manikins at Calhoun Community College.

DECATUR, AL (WAFF) - Students at Calhoun Community College can go through three different nursing tracks: LPN, RN General, and RN Night School. All of more than 800 nursing students have high hopes for their future.

People like David Stubbs can't wait.

"Once I get out of school, I hope to go and work in the ER and help people in that fashion," said Stubbs.

LaVelle Jackson has her own goals.

"My goal is to become an ob/gyn nurse or work in the neonatal area. As a child, I always loved kids," she said.

Nursing students get all kinds of hands on experience.  They even get to work with life-like mannequins. Some of them even have a trachea and can breathe.

The Dean of Health Sciences, Bret McGill, said students with outside expertise can get a jump, using their health related experience.

"We have two different mobility programs where students are licensed in other health care disciplines, such as paramedic or practical nursing. They come into our program in the second year," said McGill.

He said they are proud of their graduates who are graduating in large numbers and passing their boards.

"Our last pass rate was 92 percent, which is incredible with the number of students we graduate. And then those students are gaining employment," he added.

He said they are placing about 90 percent of their students within six to eight months of graduation - more if they are willing to relocate to other cities.

It's a profession where 50 percent of the national workforce is near retirement, ready for a new crop to take their place.

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