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Nursing program at GHC expands opportunities for high school seniors and working adults

Whether you are a high school senior or a working adult, there are growing ways to fast-track a career in nursing at Georgia Highlands College (GHC) and obtain an Associate of Science in Nursing (ASN).  

The direct high school nursing pathway is unique in that it now allows eligible candidates the opportunity to obtain their registered nurse license in two years immediately after graduating from high school. In addition, recent changes to the program mean adults returning to school no longer need a Certified Nursing Associate (CNA) license to apply for the ASN program.  

“In the past, recent high school graduates in the nursing program were required to complete their general education prerequisites before applying to the program,” Health Sciences Coordinator Chance Hooper said. “This new pathway will allow more high school students to get started in a nursing career faster than if they were to attend a four-year college or university that only offers a Bachelor of Nursing pathway.”  

Hooper says that removal of the CNA licensure component of the ASN program reduces barriers for working adults. 

“Given the increased cost of everyday living due to inflation, removing the CNA license requirement saves working adults precious time and money that can be better spent for their necessities,” Hooper said. 

Students with excellent time management skills, who are driven by their goals and who enjoy a challenge are excellent candidates for the direct high school nursing pathway.

“High school graduates and working adults will be juggling their general education curriculum alongside their nursing curriculum which requires a great deal of time,” Hooper said. “These students are having to handle a schedule where they may be on campus for a nursing class, completing assignments for an online general education class and also preparing for a clinical rotation in the hospital.”  

While the direct high school nursing pathway at GHC is rigorous and challenging, with general education courses taken alongside the nursing curriculum, students are guided by expert nursing faculty. 

“All of the professors that I have had have been more than willing to help me understand the material when I am confused, have been very personable and able to relate to my struggles, and more than enthusiastic about the material that they are teaching,” direct high school nursing pathway graduate Jonathan Kavuma said. “I have enjoyed GHC outside of the classroom because it introduced me to several healthcare facilities, and I ended up receiving jobs as an ER tech due to these encounters.”   

Another unique benefit to the program is GHC’s new partnership with Atrium Health Floyd which has allowed the college to reduce the cost burden for attending a nursing program.  

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