Las Vegas nursing college closes, shutting out students, staff
The 22-year-old mother of two was going to put work on hold for 13 months while she completed a practical nursing program at Brightwood College in Las Vegas. Then, she was going to return to work and try to complete a higher-level nursing degree online.
She got a Pell Grant, took out $12,000 in federal loans and secured a private loan, too. The single mom also ran up child care bills for her 5-year-old daughter and her 8-month-old son.
Her plans came crashing down Wednesday as Brightwood, a private, for-profit nursing school, shut its doors abruptly, leaving students and staff in the lurch. Rainey said she and other students had heard rumors about a possible closure three weeks ago, but were assured that the local campus was in good standing and wouldn’t be affected.
Instead, she got an email saying the college would close for good on Friday.
“It’s devastating,” said Rainey. “I think I’d rather have just not gotten into the program instead of getting in the program, starting it, then getting it taken away.”
Brightwood College on Sahara Avenue — which has also been known as Professional Careers, Inc., Heritage College and Kaplan College since 1990 — was one of many campuses nationwide shuttered by Education Corp. of America. The Las Vegas campus offered seven certification programs, including medical billing and coding, medical assistant X-ray technician and practical nursing.
Education Corp. of America owns more than 75 Brightwood campuses across the U.S. and enrolls at least 20,000 students in mostly certificate-granting professional disciplines such as cosmetology, culinary arts and medical and dental assistant programs, according to Insider Higher Ed. The company has previously had financial issues, according to the publication, and recently launched a lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Education trying to maintain access to federal student aid. The lawsuit was dismissed.
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