EYEWITNESS NEWS (WBRE/WYOU)— The importance of nurses was highlighted during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Since then, a local trade school has experienced “more interest” in the profession of nursing.

All you need is a high school diploma or a GED to apply to a trade school and become an LPN, a licensed practical nurse.

The nursing program at Fortis Institute in Scranton attracted one teenager who is now on a fast track to working in the medical field.

18-year-old Hera Morrison of Scranton is a student at Fortis Institute in the Electric City. She is working toward obtaining her licensed practical nursing certification.

“When I was a kid I wanted to be in the medical field. I just like helping people, servicing people, being there for them,” said Morrison.

Kera is enrolled in an 18-month program, and she says the work is challenging but worth her time.

“It’s been long hard stressful, but you just take it one day at a time,” continued Morrison.

Here at the Fortis Institute the nursing program not only entails general textbook knowledge, but students will also experience hands-on clinical classes.

“You actually go to hospitals and are assigned certain patients and we take care of them for a certain amount of time,” added Morrison.

“Our nurses work hand in hand with hospitals, doctor’s offices, and skilled nursing facilities, they really understand what the job is,” said Kristen Smith, Director of Curriculum at the Fortis Institute.

The licensed practical nursing program at Fortis Institute is an alternative to a two or four-year college career.

“Prerequisites are not required, but we want to make sure you are a high school graduate or have a GED, math and science are sometimes very helpful,” added Tanika Yahawahada, Director of Admissions at the Fortis Institute.

“Every hospital is looking for nurses as well as long-term care facilities and doctor’s offices, prisons, wide range of opportunities they have jobs most of the time before they leave school,” explained Katrina Mourer the Director of Nursing at Fortis Institute.

And those jobs pay anywhere from $30 to $45 per hour. As for Kera, when she graduates in eight months, she hopes to find work in a hospital maternity ward and has this message for other aspiring nurses:

“Stay determined, stay on track, and eat healthy please!” said Morrison.

For more information on how to apply to Fortis Institute or learn more about their programs visit the website.