Judson Haims
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May 12, 2014
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Vail Daily column: Vail Daily column:

While reading a recent article from The Pew Charitable Trusts, my interest was piqued when I learned that “on a per capita basis, Colorado topped the list in math- and science-related job openings in 2013.” Jobs in science, technology, engineering and mathematics are called STEM jobs.

According to Boston-based Burning Glass Technologies, persons choosing to pursue jobs in the STEM fields can expect to enter these fields with starting salaries north of $66,000 per year.

Perhaps it may be time to consider a job change. Or perhaps for those young adults within our communities, Colorado Mountain College and Colorado North Community College should be on your list of places to visit this week.

Registration for summer semester at CMC has already begun and at CNCC, the summer semester will begin in early June. While there is a plethora of courses to choose from are the medical field.

Recently, I wrote an article about the nursing shortage nationwide and within Colorado. The information I learned while writing the article was shocking to me. While I am well aware of the growth and demand within the homecare segment of the medical industry (a very tiny segment), I was very much uneducated as to the peril we as a state and country are in and will be faced with for quite some time.

According to a Colorado Public News examination, some 50 hospital construction projects are in development throughout the state with a $3.4 billion price tag. It seems that our state is investing heavily in our economic future.

Take a look at the following stats provided by the Colorado Center for Nursing Excellence:

• Colorado has over 61,000 licensed nurses

• 59 percent of Colorado’s registered nurses are employed by hospitals.

• Thirty-two percent (21,000) of Colorado’s nurses are older than 55.

• More than 2,000 nurses are expected to retire annually over the next 10 years.

Besides the 2,000 retiring nurses whose jobs fill need to be filled, Colorado has an annual need of 3,300 additional nurses.

LOCAL COLLEGE OFFERS NURSING CLASSES

Nursing school is tough, and it’s only going to become harder. Luckily for those persons considering a career in the medical fields, our local colleges are here to help. Our local colleges offer affordable nursing preparatory classes.

If you have the slightest interest in becoming educated in the medical field, then you need to take action now. Classes in the following start this week at CMC:

• Emergency medical services.

• Medical office technology.

• Personal care attendant.

For those interested in a nursing career but not too sure of how to start or if such a career path may be for you, take a look at the personal care attendant course starting next week at CMC in Edwards. This course is a great starting point for those interested in a health career. Students of this course will gain basic understanding and experience in skills that may open the door for a fabulous career. The course will provide education on such topics as ethics, HIPAA compliance, pathogens, chain of infection and assisting with personal care.

We must significantly expand the pipeline of new nurses. Colorado can no longer rely on other states to educate our nurses. Students interested in nursing must be prepared academically to succeed in a demanding college curriculum. This means having college level reading comprehension, grammar, vocabulary, and math skills. Remember the STEM information mentioned earlier? For those who speak a second language, you may very well find that you are in even greater demand!

Judson Haims is the owner of Visiting Angels Home Care in Eagle County. For more information, go to www.visitingangels.com/comtns or call 970-328-5526.


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The VailDaily Updated May 12, 2014 10:44PM Published May 12, 2014 07:15PM Copyright 2014 The VailDaily. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.