SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — As the need for more healthcare professionals continues to grow, four of our area’s top institutions are uniting to form the Alliance for Healthcare Education.

Missouri State University, CoxHealth, Ozarks Technical College, and Springfield Public Schools will collaborate to help boost the healthcare workforce here in the Ozarks.

Bianca Page is a nursing student at Cox College and she said the benefits of working in the healthcare industry are second to none.

Growing up she dealt with some medical issues that forced her to spend time with nurses and healthcare workers. now she gets to put on the same scrubs and give back to an industry that helped her when she needed it.

“I had nurses that did very vital assessments on me to figure out what was wrong. I also had a specialist who came in to figure out why my platelet levels were that low. So I have a lot of gratitude towards those nurses that helped and also the specialists that came,” said Page. 

Page tells KOLR 10 being a nurse is very rewarding because of the impact healthcare professionals have on people’s lives. 

She said there are several opportunities in the growing field.

With the creation of the alliance, Springfield High School juniors, and seniors will be able to earn their associate degree by the time they finish high school. 

Although Page said the work healthcare professionals do is rewarding, it’s not an easy road to travel and students are going to have to give it 110 percent. 

She says having a great attitude and being on top of your work is pivotal and having a great support staff is important but credits her teachers at Cox College for being there for their students. 

“School is really hard… but I’ve learned so much and I’ve only been in school for 9 months and I was actually sitting with my dad and he was amazed at how much I already know because he went to 6 to 7 years of medical school and 9 months in, he didn’t know as much information as I know,” said Page. 

Page said her class age ranges from people in their 20s to people in their 40s and said it is never too late to chase your dreams.