SPSCC expands health education - Advance cover story

Published: 
Friday, February 15, 2019

Health care jobs are in demand across Washington State

Nursing student examines child model in hospital bed. SPSCC enrolls 32 new students in its Nursing program each year.

Community and technical colleges are a powerful piece of educating the workforce. That’s why SPSCC is making big moves to grow its health care education programs, producing confident and educated graduates for Thurston County and Washington State. In 2018, Thurston County’s number one in-demand occupation was registered nursing, with an average of 214 job postings per month. A look at current employment trends in Thurston County show that government jobs are now rivaled—and will quickly be surpassed—by careers in health care. As the baby boomer generation continues to age over the next 20 years, health care jobs are forecasted to increase significantly. An estimated 37,000 new job openings in Washington State are predicted for health care support professionals between 2016-2026.

Center for Health Education coming in 2021

Event speakers Ted Schultz, Tanya Mote, Tim Stokes, and Leonor Fuller

The college and the SPSCC Foundation recently announced the acquisition of the Louis Walker Middleton building from the Estate of Olympia philanthropist Dr. Angela Bowen. An event on Jan. 16 celebrated Dr. Bowen’s $1.19 million in-kind contribution to the SPSCC Foundation, the largest gift in school history. SPSCC has designated the 24,000-square-foot building as the Dr. Angela Bowen Center for Health Education. The building will serve as the instructional home for some of SPSCC’s health education programs and become the primary office of the SPSCC Foundation. Estimated completion is fall 2021, allowing SPSCC to expand programs for high-demand fields, like nursing and medical assisting, with the goal of doubling the number of graduating nurses within five years.

Healthcare Pathway at SPSCC

Are you interested in becoming a health care professional? Whether you're tending to a patient, studying diseases, providing dietary counsel, or documenting important medical information, our Healthcare Pathway will set you on a course to making a difference every day. Classes in this pathway give you key skills and real-world experience to graduate and reach your career goals quickly. For a list of health care studies at SPSCC, visit our Healthcare Pathway page.

Student measures red liquid into a beaker, wearing purple gloves and goggles