The UAB School of Nursing will hold a series of informational meetings to discuss careers in nursing for individuals who have a bachelor's degree in a non-nursing field and are interested in becoming a nurse. The meetings will be 7- 8 p.m. in the Emmet O'Neal Library in Mountain Brook on Thursday, Aug. 21; Vestavia Hills Public Library on Monday, Aug. 25; and Homewood Public Library on Tuesday, Aug. 26.

The meetings are free and open to the public. UAB Nursing faculty and staff will provide information on the school's Accelerated Master's Entry to Nursing Pathway (AMNP) program, an intensive 24-to-36 month master's program for persons with a bachelor's degree in any field. This second-program, which began its first class in May, aims to introduce an additional 45 new nurses annually into the workforce.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, more than 1.2 million new and replacement nurses will be needed by 2014 and federal analysts project that more than 703,000 will be newly created RN positions that will account for 40 percent of all new jobs in the health-care sector. The Alabama Hospital Association estimates the demand for nurses here will increase by 25 percent during the next five years.

"Nurses are the front line for medical needs," said Nursing Dean Doreen Harper, Ph.D. "These intensive programs have proven to be highly effective in other states in easing the burden of nursing vacancies and adding to the pool of needed nursing faculty."

Harper said the program attracts mature, motivated students to the profession are more likely to remain in Central Alabama and the state.

For more information on the AMNP or the informational meetings at the libraries, contact nurse recruiter Cecilia Ohman at 934-5491 or 975-5302.