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College nursing students stay involved

PDCCC’s Nursing Program will graduate its fifth class during the College’s upcoming commencement on May 14. Since beginning in August 2004 with the admission of 30 students, the program has added a CNA-to-RN Bridge Program and an LPN-to-RN Bridge Program.

According to Dr. Candace Rogers, head of the nursing program, these programs were developed to recognize the unique knowledge and healthcare experience the Certified Nurse Aide and the Licensed Practical Nurse bring to the educational setting.

Nurse graduates from the first class in 2006 through the current class of 2010 total 142. Most of the graduates live and work within their rural communities, and several have gone on to earn a bachelor‘s degree in nursing.

Nursing program highlights

The nursing program and its students are very community focused. For examples, the nursing students have participated in Relay for Life (2005 through 2009), and they have held a major fund-raiser bike-a-thon each June, both of which were well received by the community. In addition, each nursing student is responsible for completing 30 community-service hours over the course of their program. This is one way to give back to the community for its support.

During their Psychiatric Nursing course last year, nursing students worked to increase suicide awareness in the Franklin, Suffolk, Isle of Wight and Southampton areas by providing individual and group teaching. Their actions led to a newspaper article that further increased community awareness of this very serious threat to the College’s service area.

PDCCC nursing students have sponsored blood drives and health education poster presentations; and each year during their Pediatric Nursing course, students have provided health teaching for two area daycare preschool-age children. During the current semester, 39 second- level students and three nursing faculty partnered with the nursing and hospital staff at Southampton Memorial Hospital for their annual disaster drill.

The PDCCC Nursing Student Association is a chartered member of the National Student Nurses Association and the Virginia Nursing Student Association. NSA members sponsor community-service projects such as blood pressure screening and Thanksgiving baskets for Edmarc Hospice for Children. They also participate in state and national nursing student conventions and sponsor a Health Career Fair each spring.

All nursing faculty and students attend the Virginia Nurses Association’s Annual Nurses Day at the General Assembly. The purpose of this activity is to introduce students to their responsibilities to improve the health of their communities through the legislative process.

For more details on nursing and other healthcare programs, call 569-6731. For information on other options at PDCCC, call 569-6700.