SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — Out thousands of dollars and no certificate to show for it. Students at Brightwood College, a for-profit school, were shocked to learn this morning that their school is shutting down for good just two months before graduation.
“Student loans, no job, no degree,” said nursing student Tasha Harris who’s angry and shocked about the closure. “I quit my job last February to go to school full time. I have absolutely no idea. I had no plan B.”
An email was sent out Wednesday morning to let the students know that Brightwood was shutting down.
“I have dropped almost $26,000 into this program to get my certificate and I’m not getting my money back,” said nursing student Andrea Pitzer.
The company that heads Brightwood, Education Corporation of America, informed students, faculty, and staff that the school had lost its accreditation and that funds to keep operating weren’t available.
“My heart goes out to the students who now need to transfer to another school or choose another profession,” said Loretta McEldowney, an instructor at the school.
Brightwood offers certificates for various programs including a Licensed Vocational Nursing certificate or LVN. It’s an accelerated one year program at the school, but there are other options available for those looking to get into the nursing field.
“There’s the registered nurse and then after achieving your registered nurse you can go on for advanced education,” said assistant clinical professor and nursing practitioner Kathryn Sexson.
Sexson works at the Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing at UC Davis. She says it’s best to get a registered nurse degree instead of the LVN certificate offered at vocational schools.
“It allows you the latitude to either practice as a nurse or go on to advanced practice,” Sexson said.
That is a path some Brightwood students say they wish they had taken. In the meantime, the hope is to transfer credits to other schools or start over.
“We were eight short weeks away. Single digits. And now nothing we can do,” Harris said.
CBS13 put in multiple calls to the company that runs Brightwood and reached out to the dean of the location in North Highlands about the decision to shut down. So far, there has been no response.