West Virginia Junior College has been awarded a grant to expand nursing education in the state of West Virginia. The funds awarded through the Nursing Workforce Expansion Program will help address the current nursing shortage by educating and training qualified nurses in various regions of the state, including the areas of Beckley, Huntington, Martinsburg, and Parkersburg.
The grant will be used to expand WVJC’s innovative hybrid online nursing program model, which was launched in November 2021 and provides access to nursing education across 19 rural counties in West Virginia. This direct admission Nursing program is a first of its kind in the state of West Virginia and is helping to close the healthcare gap so prevalent in West Virginia. By bringing this nursing educational model to additional areas of the state, WVJC will have the capacity to train up to 200 new nursing students for a total of 600 in West Virginia.
Students enrolled in this accelerated, 18-month Nursing program attend classes online and complete labs and clinicals in local healthcare facilities, supported by a state-of-the-art mobile simulation lab. This mobile simulation lab is equipped with two patient care rooms where they will apply their skills to four high-fidelity CAE Healthcare simulation mannequins. Students will utilize these mannequins to practice real-world clinical skills, adult emergency care, obstetrics, and pediatrics in a controlled environment. The mobile simulation lab allows students in rural areas to complete their nursing labs conveniently and flexibly.
By bringing nursing education directly to students, they can follow their dream of becoming a nurse and providing life-changing care to their local communities.
“This innovative model breaks the traditional mold by taking education directly to where the student lives and works, which provides an opportunity to non-traditional students who cannot put their everyday responsibilities on hold to go to school. The model provides flexibility allowing a balance between life and nursing education,” says Chad Callen, CEO of the West Virginia Junior College school group.
The increased level of flexibility for non-traditional students will help directly solve the nursing shortage crisis because these students are more likely to work in bedside nursing positions, which is where the nursing shortage is occurring.
WVJC’s Nursing program has a rich history of training nurses in West Virginia. The program was first launched in 2012 at the Morgantown campus to meet the increasing market demand for qualified nurses. The program then expanded into the Charleston and Bridgeport, WV communities.
In 2021, the Nursing program expanded into a hybrid online model to provide increased opportunities for students in rural areas of the state who may not have access to nursing education.
WVJC is thrilled to expand our innovative nursing education model in the state of West Virginia and empower the next generation of nurses.