Freshmen Class at Nursing School is 100% Non-Traditional

As nursing schools are working to accept larger incoming classes, some are finding that the student body is a little more mature than expected. As more people decide to bail on failing industries and grow weary of an unstable job market, they are turning to a more stable, traditional career path in the allied health industry. The Associated Press produced a report about one school where the entire incoming class of nursing students was considered ‘non-traditional’ (they aren’t recent high school graduates):

(Daily Herald) NORMAL — Nurses are as diverse as the patients they treat. But that diversity will become grayer for the next few years as more middle-age people are going into nursing as a second career.

That trend can be seen in the class that will graduate May 18 from Heartland Community College’s two-year nursing program in Normal. Students graduate with an associate’s degree in nursing and then may take the registered nurse licensing exam.

Non-traditional students — those who don’t begin college right after high school — are the norm in Heartland’s nursing program. But, in this class, none of the 40 students is a traditional student.

“I was pretty surprised when I started,” said second-year nursing student John Cook, 47, of Normal. “There was virtually no one right out of high school. I remember thinking that I’d be the oldest one in there by far and that’s not the case.

“It’s a huge cross-section of people with bachelor’s degrees in other fields, including a lot of moms.”

Students begin clinical rotations at area hospitals and long-term care facilities during their first semester, said professor of nursing Barb McLaughlin-Olson. For every hour that they are in the classroom, in the lab and at clinical sites, they are expected to spend three hours on course work.

The nursing-as-a-second-career trend… Read more at the Daily Herald.

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