A New Nursing Program Adds to Geary County’s Workforce Development
Wednesday, April 13, 2022
Cloud County Community College (CCCC) honored the addition of an Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) program to its Geary County campus with a ribbon-cutting on March 2, 2022. Building B which houses Nursing and Allied Health programs including EMT, CNA, and CMA on the Geary County campus was renovated to accommodate the new program. The ADN program ushers in yet another way CCCC is addressing the workforce needs of Junction City and Geary County.
“A 2020 Career and Technical Education Comprehensive Regional Needs Assessment showed that ADN programs were not meeting labor market demands and CCCC had students in the Junction City/Geary County area who wanted to become nurses,” said Stefanie Perret, MSN, RN, Director of Nursing and Allied Health.
While ribbon-cuttings are often a kick-off, this one was more of a celebration. In January, 14 students had already begun in the nursing program that had progressed quickly from identified need to realization.
“In less than 12 months, it went from idea to the launch of the program,” said Perret. “That is a very quick turnaround, but we had widespread support from the Nursing Department, CCCC Administration, Board of Trustees, and the Junction City Geary County community. We all realize the demand for quality nursing education in our region and the demand for employees in our healthcare facilities.”
While the nursing program is new in Geary County, it has existed for more than 40 years on CCCC’s Concordia campus. In March 2021, the CCCC Nursing Department approved the expansion to the Geary County Campus, and the CCCC Board of Trustees voted unanimously to approve the expansion a month later in April 2021. The Kansas State Board of Nursing (KSBN) performed a site visit in October 2021, and official approval was received on December 16, 2021. The first cohort of students was immediately accepted after KSBN approval with classes beginning January 19, 2022.
“Industry demand for healthcare professionals and community support for a nursing program in Junction City/Geary County were the driving forces behind the expansion,” said Perret. “Additionally, CCCC has always had a high percentage of pre-nursing students on our campus in Junction City, upwards of 20–25 percent, and CCCC has offered an LPN to RN program on the Concordia campus for many years.”
In other words, to continue their education, pre-nursing students on the Geary County Campus had to commute one and a half hours one way to complete their nursing education on the Concordia campus. When the Concordia campus expanded its Nursing Department to include a Generic Traditional Option that did not require an LPN for acceptance, even more Junction City CCCC students wanted to enter the program, Perret said.
Now nursing students can be educated in their own community. “CCCC’s ADN program in Junction City is an accelerated 18-month program,” said Perret. “Admission is competitive and the application deadline is August 31 with 18 students accepted to begin the program every January.” With an ADN, a student is prepared to take the NCLEX-RN to become a Registered Nurse (RN).
Educating the nurses of tomorrow is a community effort. “Currently, our Nursing Department has partnerships with Geary Community Hospital, Valley View Senior Living, Irwin Army Community Hospital, Herington Hospital, Clay County Medical Center, Salina Regional Health Center, Abilene Memorial Health, and Manhattan Via Christi,” said Perret. “We also partner with area high schools including Junction City High School to provide C.N.A. courses to students at their location and the pre-requisites for the nursing program.”
“CCCC is so appreciative of the community support for this program, from our clinical location partners to the Geary County Commission and other community leaders,” said Perret. “Widespread community and student support were highlighted in the Kansas State Board of Nursing report approving program expansion to our Geary County campus.”
For information on Nursing Program admission requirements, please visit: https://www.cloud.edu/academics/academic-departments/nursing-and-allied-health/geary-county-gto/.
Follow Cloud County Community College Nursing Program on Facebook.
Additional Workforce Development Offerings at Cloud County Community College
CCCC in Junction City offers Kansas Board of Regents (KBOR) approved certificates in Commercial Truck Driving, Welding, Emergency Medical Technician, and Early Childhood Education, as well as Pharmacy Technician (online), and sUAS Drone Pilot (online). They also continue to provide AA, AS, and AGS transfer degrees to prepare students for transfer to four-year colleges and universities in a variety of majors. Additionally, they offer custom training for business and industry and community education non-credit courses through Workforce Development and Outreach.