65 / 48
      75 / 50
      69 / 53

      Healthy career choice in tough economy

      I t's always good to hear about a career that's staying strong and healthy.

      Right now, one of those careers is nursing. Local colleges tell Pronews 7 they're seeing an increase in enrollment because of its job security.

      "We have increased enrollment in both programs, primarily in the Associate Degree Program because registered nurses are in greater demand in this community than the vocational nurses at the present time," said Sheryl Mueller, Amarillo College Associate Nursing Program Director.

      That increase, according to the Texas Workforce Solutions, happened because nursing is a healthy career choice, companies are constantly looking to hire, and that starting base pay is $57,000 with great benefits.

      "Most of our graduates that we send to go be retrained are going to work and so it makes us confident in that the next person we send to school will have success when they get out as well , " said Trent Morris, Workforce Solutions Panhandle.

      Since a bond was passed in 2007 to expand the Amarillo College Nursing Program, AC has seen big increases in it's Associate Degree and Licensed Vocational Nursing Programs.

      "At first it was between education or nursing and nursing was wide open. Education at the time was at a hiring freeze so it just helped me make the decision , " said Bryan Black, RN Student at Amarillo College.

      But what about those signing bonuses big cities, like Dallas, offer graduates?

      Amarillo College says, because things are slow and stagnant in other areas, and there's a big demand for R.N.'s right here, students are staying, which of course, means good things for our local economy.

      "We kind of grow our own produce, our own nurses and most of the nurses who graduate from our program are actually local or regional and they stay in the local communities , " said Mueller.

      Job security in a tough economy, which means a healthier market and community.

      Mueller says this May, Amarillo College expects to graduate a record number of nursing students. She says over 90% of them will already have a job lined up.