A degree in nursing may be this generation's bulwark against unemployment, according to recruiters at the Hariri School of Nursing (HSON) at the American University of Beirut. This is why the school is actively recruiting students to the profession.
"The nursing profession is a passport to the world," said Professor Huda Abou-Saad-Huijer, the director of the nursing school at AUB. "It offers mobility, numerous job opportunities, and above-average salaries."
Huijer and her team are on a mission to ensure that prospective students and the public at large become aware of the attractiveness of the nursing profession.
"Not many people know that nursing graduates are snapped up as soon as they finish their degrees and that they are offered above-average salaries," said Huijer. "Nurses are also not confined to geography: They can find jobs anywhere in the world."
Moreover, the University is offering new scholarships to help attract more students to the profession.
To raise awareness of these issues, Huijer and her team have been conducting a series of training sessions for more than 14 high school student counselors from an equal number of schools all over Lebanon, so that they could promote degrees in nursing to high school graduates.
The message is loud and clear: Lebanon and the world needs nurses.
"If we don't have enough nurses, the health care system would not function," said Huijer.
HSON's goal is to recruit 75 new nursing students annually, and it is already more than halfway there. "This year, we accepted 50 new students, up 31 percent from two years ago," said Huijer.
HSON is the oldest nursing school in the region and was accredited in 2007 by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) in the USA for a five-year term, which is the maximum term for initial accreditation. HSON is the only school of nursing outside the US territories to be accredited by CCNE. The BSN and MSN degrees at AUB are registered by the Department of Education of New York State.
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