published Sunday, September 2nd, 2012

High school students try out nursing jobs

Rachel Trevino always aspired to become a nurse. As a senior at a Chicago high school, she enrolled in the Navigate to Nursing scholarship program, a dual enrollment program offered through Chamberlain College of Nursing. The program allowed Trevino to better understand the demands of college courses while contemplating her own future career. The hands-on experience helped her develop key skills she may need if she pursued a Bachelor of Science in nursing degree, such as the ability to complete assignments in a timely and organized way and a comfort level interacting with faculty and students in online discussion boards.

Chamberlain's N2N scholarship program provides up to $8,500 in assistance for tuition to allow qualified high school seniors to begin earning college credittoward a BSN while in high school. Trevino completed one course on campus and one course online through the program while completing her second semester of her senior year in high school.

High school seniors often perceive the challenges of successfully transitioning to college as barriers to their continued education. Many state lawmakers support dual enrollment programs as an effective tool for overcoming these obstacles and setting the stage for college success. Dual enrollment programs also help to prepare students for careers in fields where demand is growing, such as nursing. With more than 50 percent of its workforce nearing retirement, the nursing industry is experiencing a shortage, according to a report in Nursing World magazine. This demand will become magnified when more than 30 million Americans become eligible to receive healthcare coverage under new legislation. Though this news is concerning for healthcare providers, it has ripened the employment market for incoming grads.

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