"My daughter, she's five months old so I’ll be able to work on my classes at home whenever I’m not at work,” said Hilary Weller, a registered nurse at
Weller is also a clinical manager at
"I thought this would help me in my leadership role and my management role,” Weller said. “[I’ll] be able to better serve my employees and the patients on our unit."
The nursing program’s director, Carolyn Hart, says enrollment has exceeded her expectations.
“We projected 15 students for the fall and I have 32 enrolled," Hart said. “Our classes are very interactive. There's a strong sense of that instructor presence, as well as the other students in the class."
Hart says a higher degree can help nurses advance their career, becoming more skilled and knowledgeable. Students on the fast track can earn their bachelor's degree in as little as 18 months, but the program is designed to fit the needs of every individual student.
"I thought this is really a great program for me to get involved in. It's a great program for all the nurses here,” said Laura Jones, a registered nurse at
Organizations like Summit Health also offer reimbursement programs that help pay for tuition costs, providing more incentive for nurses to pursue their education. About 30 percent of the nurses at
"It's vitally important for nurses to continue their education because they are at the bedside 100 percent of the time with the patients,” said Sherri Stahl, Summit Health vice president of hospital services.
Enrolled students say they are looking forward to advancing their careers through a flexible program.
"Any way that you can grow, you're just going to be able to pass that on to your patients, said Matt Hopkins, a registered nurse at Chambersburg Hospital and an enrolled student in Wilson College’s nursing program. “Anything new you learn, you can immediately turn around and teach them."
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