Atlanta—After more than 100 years in the nursing education business, the Georgia Baptist College of Nursing has witnessed an evolution in the type of students interested in nursing.
This academic year's near record high enrollment gives the College a total of 377 students in its graduate and baccalaureate programs, in which students range from 18 to 45 years old. There has also been an increase in the number of students who have already completed college coursework.
"In many cases, we are working with students who have already been successful at earning at least a four-year degree in anything from music to community health," said Kim Hays, associate director of admissions for Georgia Baptist College of Nursing. "These students have now decided to pursue their dream of becoming a registered nurse."
Gaining valuable clinical experience in a variety of health care fields also interests today's students. At Mercer, nursing students receive three years of clinical experiences, as opposed to two-year sequences in most other nursing programs.
"Today's nursing students are looking for a program that has a strong clinical component," said Hays. "The students we work with want to make certain that they will receive a wide array of in-depth clinical experiences allowing them to gain the confidence and knowledge they need to be successful registered nurses."
Another growing trend is the number of men interested in the nursing profession. Last fall, the College observed an increase in the number of men who enrolled in the program and is receiving an increasing number of inquiries from men seeking a nursing education, Hays said.
Interest in the field also continues to grow as awareness of the current nursing shortage spreads. The College will host an open house Sunday, Feb. 29 from to in hopes to inspire students to enter its nursing programs and explore the possibilities of a career in nursing. With more than 100 students already planning to attend, the College hopes to share the excellence of its nursing program through informative question-answer sessions with faculty, discussions with current students and campus tours.
Students entering the College after high school or as a transfer from another college may enroll in the undergraduate bachelor of science in nursing (BSN) program. For current nurses wishing to build on a basic nursing diploma or an associate nursing degree, the RN to BSN track allows completion of the bachelor degree. The master of science in nursing degree is offered in two areas of concentration. Graduate students may choose to focus in either nursing education or acute/critical care nursing of the adult. The College has also begun a new Nurse Educator Certificate Program for nurses with master's degrees in nursing.
For more information on the open house and any of the nursing programs, or to RSVP, call (678) 547-6700 or visit www.mercer.edu/nursing.