College of the Canyons celebrated its latest graduating class Tuesday with a pinning ceremony at the Santa Clarita Performing Arts Center.
During the ceremony, the graduates were given nursing pins and then lit candles on stage in tribute to Florence Nightingale, the founder of modern nursing.
The cohort included 38 students who face an environment that offers a high demand for their services, according to college officials.
“Our health care system is experiencing an unprecedented shortage of trained nursing professionals, so our graduates are more in demand than ever,” wrote Omar Torres, assistant superintendent and vice president of instruction at COC, in a statement Tuesday. “And because of the outstanding training they receive from their instructors, they will enter the workforce ready to make an immediate impact.”
The number of registered nurses in the workforce is expected to grow by a little over 6% during the next decade, from 3.1 million to 3.3 million, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The American Association of Colleges of Nursing also reported BLS projections that call for more than 203,000 openings for RNs each year through 2031, when factoring in retirements and workforce exits.