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ECC hosts Mar. 22 Health Occupations Open House

ECC ADN student with equipment

Job opportunities continue to be abundant in the fields of Practical Nursing (LPN), Associate Degree Nursing (RN), Medical Assisting or working in a Medical Office. Healthcare careers are among the most in-demand, both in Iowa and across the country, of any field. Because interest in these programs is so high, Ellsworth Community College will host a Health Occupations Open House on Tuesday, Mar. 22, from 1 to 4 pm in McClure Hall on the main ECC campus in Iowa Falls.

The Open House will provide an opportunity for those interested in healthcare occupations to learn more about ECC’s educational training programs for these specific career areas, meet with the faculty and some currently-enrolled students, and (if ready) begin the process of applying for admission. Refreshments will be served, gift bags will be given away, and participants who plan to enroll in Fall 2016 can register to win one of two $500 scholarships.

Brenda Barfels of Iowa Falls, ECC Practical Nursing student, says she has not regretted her decision to make a career change and pursue a nursing education, even as a non-traditional (older adult) student. She operated an in-home daycare center for 15 years and then worked as a Certified Nursing Aide and Certified Medication Aide for 10 years before deciding to pursue her real passion.

“Being an RN has been my lifelong dream, and choosing ECC was the best decision for me!” says Barfels. “Knowing that our 2015 PN graduates had a 100% passage rate on their state NCLEX exams was a huge selling point for me. I love the close-knit relationships with the faculty and other students. And I’ve received so many generous scholarships that when it was all said and done I only owed $33 on this spring semester’s tuition bill!”

Barfels continues, “I was nervous about the decision to go back to college at first, but I really encourage anyone who’s thinking about a healthcare career to come to the campus and learn more. Now I want to be an inspiration to other non-traditional students, single parents, and (foremost) my grandchildren to show them that it’s never too late to pursue a dream and make it a reality, which is what I plan to demonstrate by walking across the graduation stage in May 2017.”

Linda Hanson, Associate Dean of Health Occupations, says Barfels’ story inspirational, and also fairly typical among Ellsworth health occupations students. “We’re a smaller college, so we know our students and their stories. We work hard to make sure all of our students are successful, and we have the pleasure of watching our students strive to do their very best in and out of the classroom. It’s what keeps all of us in the Health Occupations division so passionate about what we do.”

“We know there’s great interest in healthcare occupations right now, and rightfully so with all of the career opportunities available,” Hanson continues. “We encourage everyone to come to the open house, learn more, meet the faculty, and get their questions answered. This really is the perfect time to get the ball rolling!”

Students who specifically want to attend ECC but can’t get to the Mar. 22 Open House event can attend a similar open house at Marshalltown Community College on Friday, Mar. 25, from 1 to 4 pm in MCC room 536 (enter from the southeast side of campus through Door 9, marked Buena Vista University). Prospective ECC students who go to the MCC event can still get information and register for the scholarship giveaway.

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