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UMFK nursing/public safety administration programs to hold Open House

March 7, 2003

NR03038

The University of Maine at Fort Kent will hold its second annual open house for potential nursing students and a first ever open house for public safety administration students. The event will be held on April 14 on the UMFK campus.

Last year's nursing open house drew prospective students from throughout Maine and St. John Valley interested in a career in the healthcare field. This year the open house will be expanded to include those interested in the public safety administration program as well. The event will introduce prospective students to career and education options.

The day will begin with a check-in and registration at 8:00 a.m. in the Bengal's Lair in Cyr Hall, followed by a welcome address from UMFK President Richard Cost and Melik Khoury, director of admissions, in the Fox Auditorium.

As the nation faces a critical nursing shortage, and nursing schools work to recruit new health professionals, officials at UMFK host the event as one of many new measures designed to increase awareness of nursing as a career, to promote the richness and benefits of the profession, and to showcase the state-of-the-art Northern Maine Center for Rural Health Sciences, which houses the nursing education program at the university.

"This is about more than responding to the shortage of nurses in hospitals nationwide and the decreasing enrollment in baccalaureate nursing programs. The average age in nursing today is 45, so we share a responsibility to attract younger people into the field," said Rachel Albert, director of UMFK's nursing program. "The open house was well attended last year and provided us a great opportunity to show prospective students the many advances in nursing education at UMFK. The students all appeared to enjoy themselves, as well as learn more about a field they have expressed interest in, and what it will take to prepare them to enter the career field."

The open house will also serve as an opportunity for prospective students to meet professionals in the nursing and public safety administration field and hear an overview of the university programs.

The public safety administration program at UMFK will also be featured at the open house. With the threat of terrorism and the formation of the Office of Homeland Security, it is important that students and the community are made aware of careers and job opportunities in that field as well.

A presentation on financial aid, campus tours, and program overviews and workshops will be part of the half-day session.

A lunch will be served and a wrap up of the open house will take place at 1:00 p.m. followed by an optional personal interview, if requested, with an admissions representative to participants who have further questions. The personal interviews will take place between 1:30 to 4:30 p.m.

Information provided to attendees includes details on what nursing and public safety administration is really about, opportunities in the career fields, the academic prerequisites and grades required for nursing school admission, and personal attributes needed to become a nurse or a public safety administrator.