Mineral Area College (MAC) and Perry County Memorial Hospital (PCMH) have embarked on a new relationship in nursing education. A working partnership through a pilot program approved by the Missouri State Board of Nursing was established based on an increasing number of students from the Perryville and Cape Girardeau area and a desire to continue their pursuit of higher education in nursing.
The need for this partnership arose from the Great River Community College District feasibility study which indicated that more healthcare providers, including nursing, are needed in the Perry County area.
Mineral Area College currently has 49 Sophomore Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) students comprised of second-year ADN students and Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) advanced placement students working toward their associate degree in nursing and progression to take the NCLEX RN state board test post-graduation. Two ADN sophomore students and three LPN advanced placement students from the Perryville and Cape Girardeau areas chose to be part of the pilot and to attend their MAC nursing courses at PCMH this year.
A classroom and lab area now reside in the hospital and classes are held via video conferencing with MAC’s main campus, enabling both locations to interact with each other through video and audio capabilities. There is also an on-site clinical educator to assist with student needs.
MAC Dean of Health Professions Angie Erickson said the collaboration and pilot program improves resource management for both the college and the hospital and benefits students in Perry and surrounding counties.
“For the five students participating in the pilot program, most of their training this year will happen on-site at PCMH,” she said, “We hope to continue increasing the experiences and resources available at the hospital to meet the growing needs of local MAC nursing students and healthcare providers in the Perry County area.”
PCMH is also benefitting from this pilot programming as students will be assigned to clinical rotations and experiences at PCMH, which will result in an expanded pool of trained and oriented nurses for the facility. In addition, an Academic/Employer Partnership will begin in the spring semester, which will allow participating students to be employed by PCMH with a predetermined set of hours worked to be used toward the clinical requirements for the ADN program. The transition from student nurse to graduate nurse to licensed nurse will be streamlined for those who are offered employment at the hospital after graduation.
As the pilot program progresses through the first year, adjustments will be made based on student, instructor, and facility needs and outcomes. A successful pilot year will bring additional seats to the MAC sophomore year, several of which will be specific to PCMH, and add an increased presence of needed nurses in the surrounding community.
For more information about the Nursing Program at Mineral Area College, visit MineralArea.edu or call 573-518-2172.