Nursing has been identified as the most trusted profession in the U.S. for over two consecutive decades. While a nursing career can be demanding, it is also incredibly rewarding and full of opportunities for growth and advancement. Several states are using early education career pathways to meet their skilled workforce needs and bridge the gap between high school, postsecondary programs and the workplace.
The University of South Carolina College of Nursing hosted 70 Midlands high school students who are interested in health care careers as part of Lexington Medical Center’s Partners Program, which has been part of the hospital for more than 20 years.
For one day, College of Nursing faculty demonstrated the impacts of clinical training in our Center for Simulation and Experiential Learning (SAEL).
- Students learned the importance of and practiced correct steps to proper handwashing to prevent spread of infection.
- Faculty explained features the patient simulators or manikins offer such as chest rise, pulses, reactive pupils, and heart, lung and bowel sounds.
- Faculty advised appropriate CPR techniques while students practiced on manikins.
- Students viewed a patient simulator scenario that delivers a baby.
“Lexington Medical Center hopes the Partners Program inspires students to be passionate about careers in health care,” said Marquita Gaines, Lexington Medical Center workforce coordinator. “One day when they finish their education, maybe they can return to Lexington Medical Center to take care of people in the Midlands for generations to come.”
Adventures in nursing
The College of Nursing also hosted an inaugural Summer Adventures in Nursing Week in partnership with the Office of Continuing Education. The goal is to increase interest in nursing as a career among high school students to impact the nursing shortage, improve health outcomes, and diversify the workforce.
What they’re saying
Karen Worthy, associate professor with the College of Nursing shares the importance of this program. “It gives students the opportunity to explore nursing through experiential learning experiences that augment career and academic interests by identifying students who have a passion for health care and nurturing this interest early in their secondary education.”
Almost 20 high school students from across the U.S. trained in the college’s SAEL Center to discover nursing techniques. Later, these students had an opportunity to watch nurses at work during their tour at Prisma Baptist Hospital.
“Yes, there is a looming nurse shortage, but it makes me excited to see that there is not a shortage of bright, young, intelligent students who have the passion, drive and potential to become excellent nurses,” says Worthy.