While many soon-to-be college students are concerned about finding employment once they graduate, Central Texas College student Markeshia Woods isn’t sweating her prospects for landing a job.

“I’m not worried at all,” she said.

Woods is one of more than 250 students in the college’s popular nursing program. She and other students were invited to CTC’s annual nursing recruitment event on campus Wednesday afternoon.

The event was open to nursing students from both the applied science nursing and the vocational nursing programs. Students got the chance to meet with several employers from hospitals, nursing homes and other health care agencies, including Metroplex Health Systems, Scott & White and the Red Cross, about qualifications and possible careers.

Woods said she will have a job at Scott & White once she graduates from the program, and was considering continuing her nursing education.

“I think there’s a lot of good opportunities out there,” she said.

“We wanted them to have a chance to meet with everyone, and discuss their options,” said Susan Ramnarine-Singh, a professor in CTC’s nursing program.

While opportunities in other career areas may be scarce, the need for nurses continues to grow. According to projections from the Texas Center for Nursing Workforce Studies, the demand for full-time registered nurses in Texas exceeds supply by about 22,000. The center also projected the gap would widen to 70,000 by 2020.

“I’d say our (job) placement rate is close to 100 percent,” Ramnarine-Singh said. “There’s always a demand for nurses. Not just in Texas, but everywhere.”

That need is what drove employers like Nikki Williams to Wednesday’s event.

Williams is the human resource director for Wind Crest Nursing and Rehabilitation in Copperas Cove, and said her company was looking for nurses who want experience with a range of patients.

“We have a very diverse population of residents,” Williams said. “We are looking for someone who is enthusiastic about the work they do.”

The event also featured representatives from four-year universities, including Grand Canyon University, Chamberlain College of Nursing, the University of Texas-Arlington, the University of Texas Medical Branch and Indiana Wesleyan University. They were on hand to discuss transferring options for students interested in pursuing a four-year nursing degree.

Contact Chris McGuinness at chrism@kdhnews.com or (254) 501-7568. Follow him on Twitter at ChrismKDH.

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