SHENANDOAH COUNTY -- School administrators want to start a nursing and EMT program at schools.
The Shenandoah County School board just approved its budget and part of that money could fund the new program. This would mean more job opportunities for students at a younger age.
Becky Cooper is a school nurse in Shenandoah County. She's been a nurse for 38 years.
"There will be a day when I retire, but it's not yet and I really love what I do," said Cooper.
Cooper said a nursing program in county schools is a great idea, since there are many opportunities for nurses.
"From nursing homes, to urgent care centers, to hospital settings to private in-home settings, there's always going to be a need for health care professionals."
Shenandoah County School Superintendent Keith Rowland agreed. He said he just approved the school budget.
School leaders are asking county supervisors for an additional $1.2 million and part of it could fund the new nursing program.
"It's no longer about preparing kids to graduate high school. It's about preparing kids to be successful adults, and that's what we're all about," said Rowland.
The program could give students one level of certification as a nurse. Cooper said that could give students jobs right out of high school or at least expose them to the health field. She said there will always be jobs in the area.
"It's going to grow by leaps and bounds. Even what we have now is nothing compared to what these kids are going to see in their lifetime regarding health and wellness."
Along with the nursing program, school leaders want to start an EMT program and give employee salaries a 2 percent raise. School board members will have to wait and see if county supervisors approve this funding.
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