The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects the need for approximately 712,000 new nurses by the year 2020. A community college in Eufaula stands ready to meet that challenge.
There are multiple areas of employment for today's nurses. Though most work in hospitals, opportunities are growing in long term care facilities, surgical centers, and home health care agencies.
Nursing students at Wallace Community College, on the Sparks campus in Eufaula, are seeing a change in the industry. It's not just hands on, getting vitals anymore.
"But we do critical thinking skills where you see what signs and symptoms a patient has to make a judgment on that," said Gwyn Galloway, Division Director of Practical Nursing.
And simulators have replaced actual patients for the students to work on.
"When the patient codes for example, instead of getting so nervous in a real setting, they can learn from the setting in the simulator and they actually feel better than when they see it in real life the first time they know how to react."