February 15, 2023
Pearl River Community College received terrific news that they are now leading the state in enrollment and credit hours for allied health programs at the community college level.
Demand for allied health professionals has been growing and the trend is expected to continue for years to come. A survey by AMN Healthcare in 2022 showed that 85% of healthcare facilities face a moderate to significant shortage of non-nurse and non-physician healthcare providers. Fields in particular demand include radiologic technologists, laboratory technicians, and occupational therapists.
In Mississippi, occupational therapists, physical therapy assistants, and aides are expected to account for the majority of over 11,000 healthcare jobs by 2026 according to The Mississippi Occupational Employment Project report.
The demand for licensed practical nurses and registered nurses continues to hold across the state and country. Within the PRCC district, the need for LPNs is expected to grow by almost 9% while the need for RNs is expected to increase by almost 11%.
“We know there is a shortage, and we are prepared to do all we can to meet this need,” said Dr. Jana Causey, Vice President for Forrest County Campus, Allied Health, and Nursing Programs. “We have formed many partnerships with our local healthcare providers and Universities and have devoted tremendous effort to expanding current programs and implementing new ones.
“Pearl River Community College is committed to producing a prepared healthcare workforce so that our community receives the best care possible.”
EXPANDING OFFERED ALLIED HEALTH PROGRAMS:
PRCC is constantly looking to meet the needs of local communities by adding new programs and expanding existing ones to train in high-need areas. In the last two years, Diagnostic Medical Sonography and Massage Therapy Technology were added while both nursing programs were expanded.
The college currently offers twelve different allied health programs: Associate Degree Nursing (ADN), Dental Assisting, Dental Hygiene Technology, Diagnostic Medical Sonography, Massage Therapy Technology, Medical Laboratory Technology, Occupational Therapy Assistant, Physical Therapist Assistant Technology, Practical Nursing (LPN), Radiologic Technology, Respiratory Care Technology, and Surgical Technology.
All programs are offered at the Forrest County Campus. Associate Degree Nursing is also offered on the Poplarville Campus. Practical Nursing is offered on all three campuses.
Additionally, Workforce Training offers entry-level training for individuals wanting to enter the healthcare field. Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA), Certified Nursing Assistant, Certified Phlebotomy Tech (CPT), and Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) training programs require from one month to a semester to complete. Several individuals entering these programs are seeking quick entry into the workforce to come back later for a certificate or degree in another allied health area.
APPLYING FOR AN ALLIED HEALTH OR NURSING SPOT
Each of the Allied Health and Nursing programs requires a separate application beyond being admitted to PRCC. Prospective students should reference the individual program page for more information about the application process.
Article by Laura O’Neill.
Photography by Jacob Cochran and Laura O’Neill.