Despite limitations due to the COVID-19 pandemic, community colleges have found ways to innovate, adapt, and serve students while continuing their mission of producing a high-quality workforce to meet the needs of employers, including hospitals, community health centers, long-term care facilities, and doctors’ offices. This spring, almost all community college classes were forced to move to online instruction mid-semester. Although many hospitals ended clinical rotations for students, the North Carolina Board of Nursing worked diligently to help colleges come up with solutions to allow students to meet their graduation requirements. Ensuring a pipeline of graduating nursing students flowing into the local healthcare workforce is critical.
At Halifax Community College (HCC), faculty and staff worked hard to help their 20 second-year Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) students finish their degrees and transition into local healthcare jobs. In June 2019, Golden LEAF enhanced HCC’s nursing program by upgrading the college’s simulation lab, supporting an enrollment and retention specialist, and providing professional development opportunities to ensure optimal delivery of instruction.
In preparation for the ongoing fight against COVID-19, HCC is not only adjusting to these unique times but is also preparing for its largest incoming cohort of students in several years. The nursing program is accepting 73 incoming students for the fall of 2020, an increase of 56 students from fall 2018 and increase of seven from fall 2019. In addition, the program has 22 ADN students entering their second year.
In the face of such an unprecedented upheaval of normal protocol, the mission of the community colleges to open the door to high-quality, accessible educational opportunities has never been more urgent. Golden LEAF is honored to be a part of this important task.
“We used all of our clinical collaborators and operated our simulation labs at maximum capacity to get our second-year nurses into the workforce. It is because of our strong partnership with the Golden LEAF Foundation, and its generous contribution to the education of our nursing students, that our nursing faculty was able to keep the pipeline moving.”
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