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Outlook Promising for Graduates of Ohio Valley Hospital School of Nursing
By Vanessa Orr

It's been 106 years since Ohio Valley Hospital's (OVH) School of Nursing first opened its doors. In that time, more than 1,100 nursing students have graduated. In June, 23 more from the Class of 2015 will join their alumni base. When these students finish the 21-month program, they'll have earned 27 college and 67 nursing credits. With that, they can choose to go join an RN-to-BSN program, which gives them the opportunity to earn a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree. They can also go right into the nursing profession.

"I think one of the advantages of our program is that we are a small nursing school. Our students get individualized attention to help them succeed in this ever-changing, fast-paced career of nursing," explained Barbara Michel, interim director of the Ohio Valley Hospital School of Nursing. She added, "If the student is struggling, we mentor them. And because they get to know us, they are not afraid to ask for help."

Researchers have estimated that by 2025, there will be a need for an additional 250,000 nurses in the United States. "The outlook is promising if you choose nursing as a career. As baby boomers mature, there will be a shortage of nurses to care for this aging population," explained Michel. "In addition to job security, it's a great career because there are many opportunities in nursing to work in or out of the hospital setting."

Students can come right out of high school and enter Ohio Valley Hospital's nursing program. They not only take classes at OVH, they attend La Roche College to study liberal arts.

"When students graduate from Ohio Valley Hospital School of Nursing, they take the same Registered Nursing Licensing Exam (NCLEX-RN®) as those individuals with an associate degree or BSN degree," said Michel, adding that students from OVH's School of Nursing have had a consistently high first-time pass rate. "Some may continue on to get a nurse practitioner master's degree, or go to anesthesia school. Others may choose to work in hospitals in trauma units or emergency departments, or work in specialty practices. They can find employment anywhere where there is a need for a registered nurse.

"We have students who work all over the world," she continued. "For instance, we have one graduate who is working in Sweden, and does mission work in Africa. We also have a graduate who works as a flight nurse in both Alaska and Hawaii."

Ohio Valley's nursing program can also be a second career for anyone who has the passion to help people. Full tuition scholarships are available to students who meet the school's criteria.

"Ohio Valley Hospital hires many of our graduates," said Michel, adding that students who have received free tuition through scholarships commit to spending three years working at the hospital. "The majority of our graduates go on to further their education by taking advantage of the many RN-to BSN programs offered by colleges or universities. The opportunities are endless."

To find out more about the Ohio Valley Hospital School of Nursing, visit www.ohiovalleyhospital.org or call 412-777-6204.

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