Thomas Nelson Launches New Nursing Programs at Historic Triangle Campus


Published: May 10, 2006

The Virginia Peninsula – The Thomas Nelson Community College (TNCC) Nursing Department has expanded its offerings to include two new programs at the Historic Triangle (HT) campus. A $151,000 grant from the Williamsburg Community Health Foundation facilitated the addition of an Accelerated Evening/Weekend Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) to Registered Nurse (RN) Articulation Program and a generic RN Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) program.

Awarded last year, the grant was combined with funds from TNCC for a $249,500 project enabling the College to address a nursing shortage in greater Williamsburg by training and graduating qualified nurses as soon as possible. The funds also went toward equipping a Historic Triangle Nursing laboratory with state-of-the-art instructional and practical supplies to include computers and an automated mannequin for students to practice hands-on patient care, among other vital equipment.

Nursing Department co-chair Sandra Marcuson said the 30-week Accelerated Evening/Weekend LPN to RN Articulation Program is a TNCC first; it accommodates 10 students who began classes in January and are scheduled to complete the program in August. The next class is scheduled to start in August at the HT campus. The College is currently accepting applications.

The ADN program ? which is akin to the one already offered at the Hampton campus each August ? started in January at the Historic Triangle. Marcuson said this program also accommodates 10 students and applications for the next class will be accepted Sept. 1- Sept. 30, 2006. Students who miss application deadlines or who are not accepted are encouraged to reapply the following year. Eligible applicants to either program must be enrolled at TNCC.

Marcuson said the administration paid particular attention to accessibility of services for students when implementing the programs. “Both of these programs enable us to increase the number of students admitted into the Nursing Program. We wanted to offer the accelerated program so that LPN’s who need to work during the week would have the opportunity to advance their careers and be able to do so quickly.”

While the programs benefit students, they will also have a positive impact on the community. “There is currently a national nursing shortage that is anticipated to become more acute. These two programs at the HT campus increase the number of nursing students that will graduate and become RNs. Many of our graduates remain in the area, which will therefore help to ease the local nursing shortage,” Marcuson added.

Marcuson said the grant-funded Nursing Lab at the HT campus is another example of the College’s commitment to providing high-quality services for Nursing students. “The Nursing lab is functional and has been used by the current students there. The lab at the Historic Triangle has three computer stations that are loaded with nursing software, which is a boon for the Williamsburg students because they do not have to travel to the Hampton campus to check their TNCC e-mails or perform computer searches.”

As the new programs progress at the Historic Triangle as mainstays among the course offerings, Nursing students continue taking an active role in campus and community activities. They have two clubs ? Health Care Advocates (first level class) and Future Nurses Association (second level class) and are involved in a myriad of outreach endeavors. They also participate in providing Christmas presents for the children at St. Mary’s Home for Disabled Children and perform periodic community blood pressure screenings.

Don Bartholomay, the College’s dean of Natural, Health and Social Sciences, said the new programs are in line with the administration’s aim to make Allied Health curricula a major focus at the Historic Triangle. Once the permanent Historic Triangle campus is complete, the College will initiate a full-scale program whereby more students can take advantage of the Nursing Programs. Bartholomay expressed optimism about the start up programs at the Historic Triangle given the success of Nursing at Thomas Nelson’s Hampton campus where the program consistently receives high ratings from accrediting agencies. The TNCC Nursing Department has had the National League of Nursing Accreditation since 1992.

Detailed information about the Nursing programs offered at TNCC is available by calling 825-2808 or at www.tncc.edu.

06-0433



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