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Former Auto Workers Train As Nurses

Reports say hundreds of thousands of workers in the U.S. auto industry and auto parts manufacturing are looking for new careers because of layoffs. At the same time, there is a growing shortage of nurses in the health care field.

Randy Greene worked for almost a decade at a Ford Motor Company assembly plant in Michigan.

Now he is training to become a nurse at Henry Ford Hospital in the city of Detroit.
"I don't have to come home smelling like oil," he said.

Greene is one of about 50 former auto workers who are now studying for a college degree in nursing.

Karen Davis is their instructor. "They've been given a second opportunity at a really good profession," she said.

In 2008 alone, 400,000 jobs were lost in the auto and auto parts manufacturing industries across the United States.

Estimates show the U.S. health care industry will need 500,000 nurses or more in the next decade or so.

The nurses' training program is getting a lot of attention in Michigan, the center of the U.S. auto industry, and across the rest of the country where an estimated 215,000 nursing positions are still unfilled.