Pandemic sparking more students at an online technical school to pursue medical careers

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INDIANAPOLIS — Administrators at an Indiana online technical school say more of their students are turning toward the medical field during the pandemic.

“There is definitely a high level of interest in the nursing and the health pathways,” details Elizabeth Sliger, Head of the Indiana Digital Learning School (IDLS), “I think you can see the purpose, and just how you can help people. I think it’s evident right now.”

IDLS offers nursing courses alongside their traditional high school curriculum. Students can earn certifications. The school helps the students engage in internships to give them a more hands-on experience. Some of their children are assisting in facilities where health care workers are giving vaccinations.

“Students can start in high school getting a really good foundation, even college level anatomy and physiology,” explains Sliger, “Can set them up for a path in medical coding, nursing assistant, or to go to nursing school. I think roles like a certified nursing assistant are exactly what can help right now.”

“I definitely see people gravitating towards nursing just because the great need there is, and there will always continue to be a great need for medical work,” adds IDLS senior Megan Hanson who is studying nursing, and plans to go to IUPUI for nursing next year.

IDLS is based out of a small rural district but offers classes to 6,000 students across all Indiana counties. Student enrollment, as a whole, has grown 40% since last year.

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