SOWELA's Nursing Program gets bigger and better

Ten of the twenty fastest growing occupations are healthcare related. In fact the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimate an impressive 3.2 million new jobs will be generated between 2008 and 2018.

Here in our area, Sowela Technical Community College is already meeting these demands by erecting a 35,000 sq ft structure dedicated to nursing.

Chancellor Dr. Andrea Miller had this to say: "What it means is that Sowela will have the opportunity to offer an Associates Degree in Nursing Program. That program will provide more nurses who are Registered Nurses into the community and into the workforce. There is a severe shortage of nurses throughout the country and here in Southwest Louisiana."

The school's Chancellor went on to add that graduates of the program are highly employable and find jobs very easy after graduation in a variety of fields.

We found two students who were once on the waiting list of this very popular nursing program. They are Ashley Turpeau and Bethany Moses. Both said they were extremely happy to finally get the call after being on the waiting list for two years.  This facility should hopefully handle all who apply and are accepted.

The building will just be off of J. Bennett Johnston Avenue and be equipped with an observation bay, control room and at least one high fidelity mannequin.  Interim Department Chair for the Nursing Department's Paul Hellums says this high fidelity mannequin will allow students to practice as close to the real thing but in a controlled environment. The mannequin will be able to talk and update their status.  This environment is designed to allow the student to relax and take their time and be thorough - a luxury that could not be afforded in a real hospital type situation.

Due to the G.R.A.D. Act (Granting Resources and Autonomy Diploma Agreement), McNeese State University will later be dropping their Associates Degree in Nursing program. Instead Associates Degrees will be concentrated throughout the Community Colleges that means by the time Sowela's new nursing building will be operational, so will their Associates Degree in Nursing Program.