West Virginia Junior College, Logan Regional Medical Center Partner for Hybrid Nursing Program

LOGAN, W.Va. – A hybrid online nursing program that Chad Callen, CEO of West Virginia Junior College, said will “open up access” to the profession, was celebrated on Tuesday.

West Virginia Junior College (WVJC) and Logan Regional Medical Center (LRMC) held a groundbreaking ceremony for their new partnership to address a nursing shortage and rural health issues in the state. The 18-month program was launched to initially serve 19 rural West Virginia counties.

Chad Callen

“We don’t have enough nurses and it doesn’t seem to be getting better. We need more nurses and we need them fast,” Callen told MetroNews.

Program registrants take online courses while participating in laboratory and clinical experiments in their local areas during evenings and weekends. A mobile nursing lab will enhance the educational experience, allowing students to practice their skills with advanced healthcare simulation technology, according to a statement.

The WVJC Mobile Nursing Lab – a 38-foot specialist vehicle that has been retrofitted with two simulated hospital wards containing high-fidelity simulation technology for adults, obstetrics and pediatrics – was available for tours after the ribbon cutting.

LRMC has been identified along with Greenbrier Valley Medical Center, Roane General Hospital and Davis Medical Center in Elkins as the places of greatest need.

“Our whole state is experiencing a shortage of nurses,” said David Brash, CEO of LRMC. “This partnership allows us to network directly with students at our own hospital and train them to work with us immediately upon graduation.”

Callen said he expects the full cohort of students to begin the program next month. He added that he believes the online hybrid delivery method is the future of education.

“The opportunity to run a school within the employer provides a better experience for the student as they gain more real-world experience, but it also creates a relationship and cultural bond between the student and the employer, which is good for the employer,” Callen said.

There are also many other nursing partnerships and expansions throughout the state. Govt. Justice has committed $48 million to West Virginia’s nursing workforce expansion program. These include 26 nursing education programs at colleges, universities, schools of nursing, and vocational technical schools across West Virginia.

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