The PRCC supports nursing education – Picayune Item
By Laura O’Neill
PRCC Public Relations
HATTIESBURG, Mississippi — At a time of high demand for nurses, Pearl River Community College continues to do its part to meet the healthcare needs of local communities. The PRCC joined Alcorn State University and Jones College on the University of Southern Mississippi campus on Monday to enter into memorandums of understanding that support nursing education in the state. The institutions work together to improve the health of Mississippians by increasing the number of nursing graduates from diverse backgrounds.
Representatives from the four schools met at the National Office of the Trent Lott Center. Dr. Jana Causey, Vice President of Forrest County Campus, Allied Health and Nursing Programs, represented the PRCC at the table alongside University of Southern Mississippi Acting Provost Dr. Gordon Cannon, president of Alcorn State University, Dr. Felecia M. Nave, and president of Jones College, Dr. Jessie Smith.
“We’re taking resources and maximizing the benefits of this partnership,” Causey said. “This partnership between institutions will allow us to meet the health needs of our communities, and everyone knows that there is a shortage.
The schools present announced two pre-licensing partnerships. The partnership has two components: an admissions path and an academic success path. The goal is to increase the number of nursing graduates in the workforce. Qualified students not admitted to the Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program have an alternate admission route. They can apply to the Associate Degree of Nursing (ADN) or Practical Nursing (PN) programs at Alcorn, Jones or PRCC. Upon successful completion of the ADN or PN program, eligible students may return to the BSN program at USM.
The agreement also provides for an academic success path. Students experiencing academic difficulties in the BSN program would be informed of the ADN or PN program at participating schools.
If they maintain their eligibility, they will have the option of returning to USM upon successful completion of the DNA or PN program.
“These partnerships will reduce the time it takes to earn a nursing degree and enter the workforce,” said Dr. Lachel Story, dean of the College of Nursing and Health Professions at USM. “This will limit the use of financial aid and increase student success and potential by meeting students where they are and helping them achieve their goal.”
EXPANSION OF NURSING PROGRAMS AT PRCC
PRCC recently announced an expansion of the DNA and PN programs, made possible through funding from an Accelerate Mississippi Pine Belt Healthcare grant. The Forrest County campus is adding a traditional DNA program in addition to the LPN evening program at DNA added last fall. An LPN evening option at ADN is starting on the Poplarville campus in addition to increasing the number of students in the traditional ADN.
The Practical Nursing (RPN) program has also been expanded by 30 students, spread across the three campuses.
“At Pearl River, we teach our nursing students not only to be capable in their jobs, but also to be compassionate and caring members of the community,” Causey said. “We are committed to training registered nurses who will stay local and meet the health needs of Mississippi.”