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 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.
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:
|OCCUPATION||PROJECTED GROWTH RATE|
|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%|