by Darlene J. Taylor
Fairmont State's associate degree nursing program will expand by 20 positions thanks to a cooperative effort with United Hospital Center.
The college and the hospital announced the joint venture on Monday. UHC will provide four full-time nursing instructors, classroom space and hands-on experience at the hospital.
In turn, Fairmont State -- with the help of a $60,000 state grant -- will telecast instruction to students taking the course at UHC, said Blair Montgomery, interim FSC Community & Technical College provost.
"This is a wonderful example of how government, education and industry can work together to create opportunities for our region," Montgomery said.
Thirty-two additional students per semester will be able to train in real-life nursing situations at UHC in inpatient, outpatient, clinic, nursing, home health, obstetric care and mental health care.
Currently, 16 FSC students train at the local hospital.
"It is our goal to recruit and retain students," said Bruce Carter, UHC president. "We enjoy the clinical rotations of the students and feel it is an important partnership between the nurses and students. FSC has been the school of choice for many nurses who seek employment at UHC so it is only natural that our two organizations would work proactively to address the situation."
A Health Resources and Services Administration survey shows that the age of registered nurses is rising with the median age at 45. The average age for a graduating nurse at FSC is 26 with 99 percent of those graduates remaining in the Mountain State, according to Dr. Deborah Kisner, FSC director of nursing education. FSC wants to continue to recruit younger nurses who will provide more years of service.
The deadline for nursing program applications has been extended to March 31.
The new program is projected to start by the fall semester.
For information on applying for the associate degree nursing program, contact Aletta Moffett at (304) 367-4233 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Staff writer Darlene Taylor can be reached at 626-1439 or by e-mail at email@example.com.