SPRINGFIELD, Ore. -- A unique program at Springfield High School is getting students ready to be trained nurses.
The Health Occupations Career pathway gives students hands-on experience. The students wear scrubs and take classes on Anatomy, Physiology, medical office management, and more. They also work with trained professionals that help teach the classes.
Program coordinator and teacher Leslie Watson said they work directly with Lane Community College and their program is the only one in the state that allows students to get the needed state certification to be a nurse or medical assistant.
"This is the biggest joy of my entire career," Watson said. "To be part of such an amazing program and to actually walk out of high school with real skills that will allow them to be employable."
Senior Daniela Ramos said she decided to become a nurse after her dad suffered a stroke while she was in the 8th grade. With her certified nursing credentials, she plans on working at a nursing home while she goes to LCC to become a registered nurse.
"It's really hands-on, the teachers really help you through," Ramos said. "It's not like they're talking to you, they really communicate with you."
The Eugene 4J School District has similar classes, including their medical pathway program at Churchill High School.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates there will be a nationwide deficit of one million nurses by 2022.