Science growth

Taken together, the natural and health sciences is Northwestern College’s biggest major with more than 300 students pursuing science degrees. Biology-health professions is the college’s second-largest major, and nursing is the third-largest. Both are poised to grow when we build science facilities to accommodate more students.

Since 2005, an increased number of Northwestern students majoring in the sciences has resulted in an annual lab credit enrollment increase of 58%. In addition, average lab sizes have increased by 41%. Currently, Northwestern’s science facilities are operating at maximum capacity achieved only through time/space efficiencies that run the risk of reaching a tipping point when more will no longer be better.

The need for nurses

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recommends that at least 80% of nurses hold at least a BSN degree (currently only 35% of nurses have a BSN). In western Iowa, only 20% of nurses are BSNs.

Demand for science degrees

Among the science and technology occupations identified as prospects for growth potential between now and 2020 by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Outlook Handbook are these:

  Athletic trainers 29% or faster
  Biological technicians 10 to 19%
  Biomedical engineers 29% or faster
  Environmental scientists 10 to 19%
  Healthcare social workers 29% or faster
  Health educators 29% or faster
  Medical and health services managers 20 to 28%
  Nurses 20 to 28%
 Occupational therapists 29% or faster
  Physical therapists 29% or faster
  Physician assistants 29% or faster
  Physicians and surgeons 20 to 28%