ROCKFORD (WIFR) – Even with new technology and medicine healthcare is coming up short when it comes to nurses. That's why local colleges are filling the growing demand, by providing more opportunities for a nursing career. Local residents hope to use their degrees to give back to the community.
As a medical assistant at Rockford Cardiovascular, Katie Hess wants to help nurse residents back to health. To do that, she's going back to school to be a nurse practitioner. For Hess, pursuing this career isn't about having more options, it's the compassion she feels for patients.
"Patient care, being there to help the patients out, helping them back to their best ability just seeing them succeed once they get down so low,” Hess said.
That's why Hess plans to join the new nursing program at Rasmussen College. It offers a professional associate's degree, for residents to become a certified nurse, a career that shows no signs of slowing down.
More than 160 people have shown interest in Rasmussen’s program, but they can only take 36 students and o-s-f's school of nursing currently has 330 students up from 272 last year.
“We have a lot of people who see that nursing can now be a valuable career that they can easily support a family," said Dr. Terri Burch, President of OSF School of Nursing.
But it's treating families that Hess is looking forward to do soon. OSF and Rasmussen aren’t the only schools to offer nursing degrees. You can study several different medical areas like family practice at the University of Illinois College of Medicine here in Rockford and Rockford College.
We’re told most nursing students want to be nurse practitioners, which allows them to diagnose and treat patients. If you’re interested in a nursing degree, you can find more information here.