One of today’s fastest growing career opportunities is a career in health care. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS.gov), from 2010-2020, six of the top 20 industries with the largest wage growth and 10 of the top 30 jobs with the fastest job growth are health care related. Most of the fastest growing health occupations require an associate degree or less to enter the occupation.
For almost 50 years, Craven Community College (CCC) has prepared thousands of students for careers in medical fields. Today, CCC’s Health Programs Learning Center offers associate degrees, diplomas and certificates in a variety of disciplines including nursing, medical assisting, health information technology, medical office administration, pharmacy technology and physical therapy.
Recently, the college’s Health Information Technology (HIT) program became fully accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education. Students graduating from this program are equipped to work with electronic health records. Demand for these skills is high and the growth of HIT-related jobs is expected to be faster than other occupations through 2020 according to BLS.gov.
“Our health programs continue to grow and become even stronger,” said Belinda Barnhill, interim dean of health programs and chair of nursing and continuing education. Barnhill added, “Our students benefit from smaller classes, state-of-the-art equipment and classroom environments that mimic real hospital settings.” Barnhill stated that additional accreditations are in process for other health programs such as pharmacy technology and medical scribe.
CCC’s health programs facilities feature some of the newest technologies and equipment available for teaching. The college’s unique high-tech nursing simulation lab gives students training in a learning environment that mimics a real hospital setting. The pharmacy tech training area includes equipment that is currently used in hospital pharmacies for preparing medications.
Nursing student Jennifer Hernandez has enjoyed learning in the simulated hospital setting with the life-like computerized mannequins. “I have one more semester and I am preparing for my nursing board exams,” stated Hernandez. Hernandez added, “Although I’m nervous about the exam, the simulated learning I received, and, the fact that CCC nursing students have a high first-time pass rate on the exam, gives me a lot of confidence.” Hernandez started her nursing education in California before coming to New Bern with her husband who is in the military.
For more information about the nursing programs at CCC, contact Belinda Barnhill at 252-638- 7341. For more details on upcoming information sessions for nursing and other health programs, go to: www.cravencc.edu.
Deborah Kania is the director of marketing, communications and development liaison at Craven Community College.
Article originally appeared in the New Bern Sun Journal.