BISMARCK, ND — High school students looking for a rewarding career caring for other people can do so by entering the nursing profession. Now, the University of Mary and CHI St. Alexius Health are offering high school juniors and seniors the opportunity to explore first-hand what it would be like to be a nurse.

Juniors and seniors should mark their calendar for the free CHI St. Alexius Health/University of Mary Nursing Career Day on Thursday, March 24, from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Attendees will spend time at both Mary and CHI St. Alexius Health. Get real-life practical nursing experiences, using state-of-the-art mannequin simulations. Learn from nurses at one of the region’s top hospitals. CHI St. Alexius Health recently earned the recognition as the best hospital in North Dakota for 2015-2016 by U.S. News and World Report. Talk with University of Mary students who receive world-class education at one of the area’s most respected nursing schools.

University of Mary nursing students at CHI St. Alexius Health

Prospective nurses have the unique opportunity to discover the profession firsthand at Mary’s Nursing Career Day March 24, 2016.

“This is an exciting time in healthcare,” said Dr. Glenda Reemts, chair of the University of Mary Nursing Division. “We invite students to take a look at the dynamic educational and practice experiences they can engage in while becoming a nurse. This event is an excellent opportunity to go through lab demonstrations and medical scenarios and interact with nursing faculty, current students and our nursing practice partner to see what it is like to become a nurse.”

University of Mary nursing students at CHI St. Alexius Health

Students will break into small groups and rotate through numerous lab demonstrations and medical scenarios at Mary’s Nursing Career Day.

The U.S. is currently experiencing a nursing shortage, which is expected to intensify as Baby Boomers age and the need for health care grows, according to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN). According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Employment Projections released in 2013, Registered Nursing (RN) is listed among the top occupations in terms of job growth through 2022. The RN workforce is expected to grow from 2.71 million in 2012 to 3.24 million in 2022, an increase of 526,800 or 19 percent. The Bureau also projects the need for 525,000 replacement nurses in the workforce, bringing the total number of job openings for nurses due to growth and replacements to 1.05 million by 2022.

The University of Mary recently earned the prestigious School of Distinction designation — the only school in North Dakota and one of only a handful in the region to receive the honor. The award recognizes Mary for its innovative learning opportunities and its study abroad programs in several countries including Rome, Peru, Guatemala and other countries where nursing students have the opportunity to care for people in need. The School of Distinction also cites Mary for “ensuring that undergraduates get the most out of their educations, and it has proven correlation with on-time graduation as well. Students increasingly demand access to hands-on learning,” said Tyson Schritter, executive editor for College of Distinction.

That distinction is evident with Mary being one of the nation’s most affordable universities. Its new, revolutionary Year-Round Campus — a paradigm shift in education that gives undergraduate students the option of a full and vibrant campus experience over the summer — allows them to complete a bachelor’s degree in 2.6 years and a master’s in 4. And, in partnership with Catholic Health Initiatives (CHI), freshmen nursing students enrolling at Mary qualify for their senior year tuition-free if they maintain a 3.0 GPA through their junior year.

For more details visit umary.edu/nursingday2016.