By Lindy Thackston
INDIANAPOLIS - Registered nurses are Indiana's second most in-demand occupation, according to the Indiana Department of Workforce Development's "Hoosier Hot Jobs" list.
Meanwhile, a lot of Hoosiers want a career change or need a job.
Marian University is hosting a "Come Explore Nursing" event Wednesday.
It's a chance to learn about all the nursing programs the school offers, including the Accelerated Nursing Program, a 16-month program designed for people with a bachelor's degree in a non-nursing major.
"We are really looking for folks who are looking for that next step in their career or a change of careers and have the passion, who want to make a difference, who want to get out there and help people and provide service and in this case, heal the sick," said Kris Shallenberger, director of community relations.
Shallenberger says there are former teachers, accountants, attorneys, engineers and even an Army Ranger in classes.
Katie Sauter is halfway through the program.
"The size of the program is perfect," said Sauter. "Everyone still knows your name and who you are and it's fun to be around people, other students, who have a diverse background. We all bring different things to the table."
"I was working in a front office role and wanted to be more directly involved with the patients," said Sauter. "I wanted to be able to give them more care rather than just scheduling them appointments on the administration side. I wanted to personally help them and make more of a difference in their lives."
Megan Brown, manager of nursing at St. Vincent, has hired several of the graduates.
"I really do think nursing is a unique career because you really do get to choose what type of nursing you want to do," said Brown. "It may not be labor and delivery for everyone, it may not be ICU, it may not be management, but you can find a specialty of nursing to match anything you want to do."
"Come Explore Nursing" is Wednesday in the Main Lobby of St. Vincent Indianapolis, 2001 West 86th Street, from 4-7 p.m.
You can mix and mingle with current students, alumni, St. Vincent nursing leadership and Marian University admissions staff. There will also be information on the traditional nursing degrees offered by the school.
"The event is a great opportunity for those that are thinking about a career change and toyed around with the thought of becoming a nurse or getting involved in some sort of healthcare profession and yet have not taken that first step," said Shallenberger.