Williamsburg Community Health Foundation Awards Grant to TNCC to Expand Nursing Program


Published: October 28, 2005

The Williamsburg Community Health Foundation has awarded a $151,000 grant totheThomas Nelson Community College Educational Foundationto expandTNCC’s Nursing program at theHistoric Triangle campus and begin graduating qualified nurses as soon as possible.

The grant ? combined with funds from TNCC for a project totaling $249,500 ? will make it possible for the nursing program to address a community-identified shortage of qualified nurses within various health care agencies serving the Greater Williamsburg area. Grant funds will cover some personnel costs as well as the equipment necessary for state-of-the-art instruction and practical training in a teaching laboratory setting at the Historic Triangle Campus located in theBusch Corporate Center.

The lab will be equipped with SimMan©, a computerized mannequin or “patient” to provide a wide range of practical hands-on training; three modern hospital beds along with computers, software and instrumentation that make for a professional environment.

Under the grant, theproject will accept tenstudents for the first year of classes in the Nursing program. In the second year of the program, a new freshman class will be admittedand the initial class will become sophomores who will complete their degrees and sit for the state board examination. As a result, there will be 20 students in theRN program any given year untilthe new campus inthe Historic Triangle opens. At that time, the number of students admitted to the Nursing program will be increased, explained MichaelBruno, TNCC Deanof Instructional Services.

The grant-funded Nursing laboratory will also allow a different group of TNCC students to make the transition from LPN to RN by completing a separate program at the Historic Triangle campus and enter the workforceafter one year of instruction and successful completion of the state board examination.

Bruno said school officials are optimistic about the project given the consistent success of the Nursingprogramat TNCC’s Hampton campus where the program regularly garners high marks from accrediting agencies. The project is in line with TNCC’s aim to make Allied Health curricula a major focus of the newHistoric Trianglecampus.

“Rather than wait for the new campus to be completed, weare eager to initiate a small but high-quality nursing program,” said Don Bartholomay, TNCC Dean of Natural, Health and Social Sciences. “Afull-scale programwill followonce thenewcampus in the Historic Triangleis complete and fully operational.” Hiring faculty and setting up the Nursing lab will begin immediately. It is anticipated that the Nursing students will be able to start the program in January.

A shortage of nurses and other health professionals has frequently been cited nationally as well as locally, the grant proposal stated. “Retirements and re-careering in the current nursing forces are not being replaced at par. With a new hospital opening, a potential second hospital, and other health providers in the community all requiring qualified nurses, TNCC has identified Allied Health curricula, including its RN program, as central for meeting a critical, long-term need of its Greater Williamsburg constituency.”

The Thomas Nelson Community College Educational Foundation, Inc. is a private, non-profit tax-exempt organizationdedicated to advancing and financially supporting educational excellence at Thomas Nelson Community College.

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For more information please contact the Office of Public Relations (757) 825-2725



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