DUBLIN — Bladen Community College is celebrating National Nurses Week by showcasing remarkable growth of the curriculum over the past 10 years and an influx of non-traditional students. The additional curriculum and strong non-traditional student enrollment parallel a nationwide trend.
According to the (2017) Kiplinger Report of the best jobs for the future, Nurse Practitioner opportunities are expected to increase by nearly 33 percent over the next eight years, with annual salaries averaging $98,000. That is more annual income than app developers, personal financial advisers, and computer systems analysts.
And while the career choice is still dominated by females, the percentage of men entering the professional has grown steadily. According to the January 4 New York Times news article Forget About the Stigma: Male Nurses Explain Why Nursing Is a Job of the Future for Men, in 1960, approximately 2 percent of nurses were men. Now, the nursing force is 13 percent men.
The BCC statistics validate the trend, where 16 percent of both levels of the current associate degree class are men.
“It’s extraordinary to have this many male nursing students in our program,” remarked Sharron Thomas, Director of Allied Health Programs. “Since the 1960s, women have been aggressively entering male-dominated career fields. But men have not entered traditional female-dominated careers at the same rate.”
Currently enrolled in the BCC nursing program are 29 practical nursing students, 23 first-year and 30 second-year associate degree nursing students, and nine paramedic-to-registered nurse students.
In May 2019, Bladen Community College will graduate the largest number of male nursing students in the college’s history.
There are many ways for a student to work in a nursing or nurse-related career. At BCC, students can receive a one year diploma as a licensed practical nurse or a two-year associate degree as a registered nurse, and seamlessly bridge into advanced degrees. Other opportunities exist in emergency medicine, transfers into physical therapy assistant, Nurse Aide I, and Nurse Aide II.
For information about educational opportunities in allied health careers, or other fields of study at Bladen Community College, contact a counselor at 910-879-5500.