Coronavirus sparks interest in health care professions

More people are inquiring about getting into health care professions such as nursing

Posted: May 15, 2020 8:23 PM

For the 18th year in a row, nurses topped Gallup's poll of most trustworthy profession!

We've seen their selfless actions day in and day out through this crisis, and we're not the only ones! WAAY 31 spoke with a local college, who said they're getting more interest in their nursing and other health care programs.

"We would expect our numbers to at least stay the same if not go up a little bit," Bret McGill, the Dean of Health Sciences at Calhoun Community College, said.

He said the nursing program takes applicants for the fall and spring semesters. They admit 112 students on the Decatur campus and 48 on the campus in Huntsville.

Since the fall application process was almost done before the pandemic began, it's too early to know if they'll see an increase or decrease in the number of applicants. But, he did say more people are inquiring about the program

"We have a lot of phone calls, a lot of emails with people interested, and i think people are looking around now and seeing whose considered essential and when something like this happens that's kind of out of control - whose working and whose not working whose helping out and i think that does inspire people to maybe chose a health care career," McGill said.

McGill says the program requirements are already pretty high, so he doesn't think they'll be raised. But, he said more applications will make it more competitive.

"The more people who want into one of my health programs then the more competitive this is so it just drives the average ACT score up. It drives the average number of a's in your anatomy courses and all those things are points that go towards your application," he said.

McGill said they will be able to see if more people are applying to these programs in August, once spring applications for next year start to come in. But, he said the school is equipped to handle the growth if it comes.

"We've dealt with growth over the last couple years and we can handle even more growth," he said.

McGill said if hospitals do have to reduce the number of hours nursing students can do for their in-person clinicals - students will be able to do so virtually.

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