PDCCC opens Suffolk nursing program

Published 11:29 pm Thursday, June 12, 2014

Members of the first Practical Nursing class in Suffolk include, from left, Heidi Bussler, Jessica Beil, Tonia Mason, Stephen Wilson, Kim Defreeuw, Denise Shoemaker, Angelita Bease, Chelsea Drake, Jordan Jones, Tonisha Hayer, Amber Jarratt, Ashanda Mills, Jessica Edwards, Brittany Johnson, Shaniqua Chambliss, Haley Dixon, DeeDee Magette and Alexis Blankenship. Not pictured are Judy Wyche and Coretta King. (Submitted photo)

Members of the first Practical Nursing class in Suffolk include, from left, Heidi Bussler, Jessica Beil, Tonia Mason, Stephen Wilson, Kim Defreeuw, Denise Shoemaker, Angelita Bease, Chelsea Drake, Jordan Jones, Tonisha Hayer, Amber Jarratt, Ashanda Mills, Jessica Edwards, Brittany Johnson, Shaniqua Chambliss, Haley Dixon, DeeDee Magette and Alexis Blankenship. Not pictured are Judy Wyche and Coretta King. (Submitted photo)

Paul D. Camp Community College has launched a practical nursing program on the Hobbs Suffolk Campus.

“We received well over 100 applications for 20 available enrollment slots,” said Courtney Darden, lead faculty for the program. Candidates who successfully complete the program will receive a one-year certificate in practical nursing.

The college created the program on the Suffolk campus with support from the Birdsong Corp., through the Suffolk Foundation. George Birdsong, CEO of Birdsong Peanuts, a national peanut processing company based in Suffolk, is a leading supporter of research in healthcare issues for PDCCC.

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Funding from the Foundation is being used to renovate the Nursing Skills Lab on the Hobbs Suffolk Campus. However, classes are already underway, having started with the beginning of the summer semester on May 19.

“This program will allow the college to fill a need in the community for the students who will become licensed practical nurses,” said Paul Conco, PDCCC’s president. “LPNs who continue their education at the college can become registered nurses with just one more year of study. Both RNs and LPNs will find a cadre of ready employers in our region. This is a win-win partnership.”

Licensed practical nurses provide basic nursing care under the direction of registered nurses and doctors. They work in many settings, including nursing homes and extended-care facilities, hospitals, physicians’ offices and private homes.

To become an LPN, a student must complete a one-year, state-approved educational program. The next step is to pass a State Board of Nursing exam to receive a license before they can work as an LPN.

For more information on the practical nursing program, call the Nursing Department on the Hobbs Suffolk Campus at 925-6315.