TWIN FALLS, Idaho (KLIX) – It’s been said for years that there’s a shortage of nurses, but that just means there’s more opportunity for those who want to make the cut into the health care profession.

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On Wednesday, Feb. 24, the College of Southern Idaho chapter of the Idaho Student Nurses Association will hold an all-day career fair for students, the public and health care professionals interested in training for other medical fields.

“This used to be an annual event a few years ago but for whatever reason they stopped,” said Susan Narasimhan, faculty advisor for the chapter and coordinator of the event. “The students this year thought they’d give it a try and see what happens. We have such a nursing shortage now that this event is not for just nursing students. It’s for anyone looking for a job in the health care industry.”

Many booths from colleges, universities and employers in the health care industry will be at the event to hand out information and, in some cases, accept job applications and resumes, Narasimhan said. The free event will take place at the college’s Health Sciences and Human Services building on North College Road.

The number of nurses has waxed and waned over the past 20 years, partly because of the baby-boomer generation that is retiring. But that segment also accounts as one of the reasons the profession is expected to steadily grow over the next eight years.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of registered nurses is anticipated “to grow 16 percent from 2014 to 2024, much faster than the average of all occupations.” The reasons are many, according to the BLS, including more emphasis on preventive care, growing rates of chronic illnesses, and more healthcare demand from baby-boomers.

Currently, about 400 students and programmers are in the CSI nursing association, Narasimhan said. They are hoping the planned event next week will be the first of many more to come.

“If this event turns out like we’re hoping it will,” she said, “it’d be wonderful for us to have a place where health care workers who are looking to further their education or career could go every year to get information and meet contacts.”