HAYWOOD COMMUNITY COLLEGE

185 FREEDLANDER DRIVE

CLYDE, NORTH CAROLINA 28721

CONTACT: DEBBIE DAVIS OR DIANA CONARD

PHONE: 627-4521

DATE: 09-23-04

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

HCC’S NURSING PROGRAM PINS ITS FIRST GRADUATES FROM THE NEW ALTERNATIVE COURSE SCHEDULE

The Haywood Community College nursing program recently held a pinning ceremony at Grace Church in Waynesville to honor its first graduates of the alternative course schedule pilot program. The HCC students, all Licensed Practical Nurses, who graduated from the program were: Kathie Dudley, Johnnie Sue Frady, Tracy Hord, Rebecca Linville, and Marilyn Moore.

The alternative course schedule was created as an effort to provide more slots in the nursing program and give students an alternative to the traditional day class offerings. The number of applicants for the nursing program at HCC has increased 234% since 1995 and the number of accepted applicants has increased from 15 students in 1995 to 34 in 2004, a 127% increase.

"We have had so many requests to have evening nursing classes," Blake Rogers, Director of the Region A Nursing Consortium and Chair of Health Professions at HCC, said. "The alternative course schedule has expanded our program to accommodate these students."

According to an article in the March/April 2004 issue of NC Medical Journal, "Long range forecasts of registered nurse supply and demand in NC predict a shortage of anywhere from 9,000 nurses in 2015 to almost 18,000 by 2020." This can be attributed to the aging population in NC, as well as an aging workforce of nurses.

"The creation of the alternative course schedule is driven by the nursing shortage," Rogers explained. "People know it is a good, stable job and they know they can find a job when they finish the program."

In an article in the March/April 2004 issue of NC Medical Journal, H. Martin Lancaster, President of the NC Community College System, stated, "About 60% of NC’s registered nurses come from community college programs and approximately 90% of our RN graduates stay in NC to begin their nursing careers."

This is the case for Johnnie Sue Frady. She has worked at Haywood Regional Medical Center for 10 years as a licensed practical nurse. Through HCC’s new alternative course schedule, she was able to continue working while taking the classes she needed to become a registered nurse. "I would have had to quit work to take classes if it had not been for the alternative course schedule," Frady explained. "It was very convenient and flexible and the instructors did a great job."

Form more information on HCC’s traditional nursing program or the alternative schedule; please call Student Services at 627-4500.

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(Cutline:) Pictured are the first graduates pinned from HCC’s alternative course schedule in the nursing program, from left to right: