"An abundance of available jobs in other fields was one reason why nursing enrollment had been slipping," Steve Zoloth, dean of Northeastern's Bouve College of Health Sciences. "Additionally, there was a glut in the field because of a perceptual problem of nurses and the second class role they were often perceived to play in clinics and hospitals. However, with all the economic instability stunting the other sectors, health professions have become all the more attractive."
Also, according to Zoloth, since September 11, people are looking to connect with others. "They are being drawn to professions that make a socially just contribution to society," he said.
Amid all the layoffs, hiring freezes, and declared bankruptcies plaguing the economy, the health professions industry seems to be unscathed, and even growing. Students at Northeastern and elsewhere are increasingly drawn to a field in which they are nearly guaranteed a job upon graduation, and a well-paid one to boot. In Northeastern's co-op programs, there are also many more jobs available than there are students to fill them.
And all this spells solidity for prospective and current students thinking of entering nursing or pharmacy in particular.
Christina Passalacqua, 18, came to Northeastern this past fall as a pharmacy major, and is absolutely confident that upon graduation she will have a job.
"Just speaking with upperclass pharmacy majors and my academic advisor, has reassured me that the present rocky conditions of the economy is not going to affect me," Passalacqua said. "However, my business and engineering friends are not so confident."