Nursing Jobs are Waiting
There are many reasons to attend Columbia Gorge Community College. We have great instructors, the cost is much less than a four year school, we have an active student body, we are located in a beautiful area. The list goes on, but the main reason for most of us is a practical one, to acquire an education that will result in a good paying job. CGCC’s Nursing and Health Occupations programs are exceptional, and jobs are waiting for those who complete them. There is a shortage of Registered Nurses right now, and according to Dr. Beverly Malone that statistic isn’t changing anytime soon. “With upcoming RN retirements amidst today’s nursing shortage, it is expected that our nation will need 1.13 million new RNs by 2022. Plus, there will be a need for 35 percent more faculty members to meet the demand for nurses.” This translates into being able to find a job locally or anywhere in the country should you need to relocate. The Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook states: “Employment of registered nurses is expected to grow 16 percent from 2014 to 2024, much faster than the average for all occupations. Growth will occur for a number of reasons, including an increase emphasis on preventive care; growing rates of chronic conditions, such as diabetes and obesity; and demand for healthcare services from the baby-boom population, as they live longer and more active lives.”1
In August of 2016 CGCC signed an Inter-Governmental Agreement to join the Oregon Consortium for Nursing Education (OCNE). OCNE is a partnership of eleven community colleges and the six OHSU campuses. These schools all share the same common prerequisites, admissions standards and curriculum. Students completing the nursing curriculum at the OCNE community colleges are awarded an associate of applied science in nursing and may apply to take the national licensure exam (NCLEX-RN) to become an RN. Program graduates will have a seamless transition to pursue a BS in Nursing at OHSU.
Success builds on success, as evidenced by the 281 students who have graduated from the RN program since it began in 2001. They have the opportunity to complete their Bachelor degree through our articulation agreement and co-admission option with Linfield College or our articulation and transfer agreement with OHSU. According to Doris Jepson Director of Nursing and Health Occupations “Many students continue on to other programs. In an exit survey of 2017 graduates, all indicated they plan to pursue a BSN or MSN degree; 54 percent plan to continue on right away, 85 percent within the next five years. Many graduates have become nurse managers, nurse practitioners, nurse anesthetists, or nurse educators. Two of those former graduates are adjunct faculty in CGCC’s Nursing Program.
CGCC provides strong support for our students. In the 2017-18 academic year $48,501 in Scholarship dollars are being awarded to nursing students through the CGCC Foundation. The community also is directly involved, the nursing program has clinical affiliation agreements with 24 local agencies. Students also participate in clinical experiences in our Rural Clinical Simulation Center. Here they are assigned “patients” to care for and can practice their nursing skills in a safe environment. Simulation allows students to experience some clinical situations which may be hard to get in our rural area. This better prepares them for their future roles in nursing.
The Nursing Program strengthens our community by providing highly qualified workers to safely deliver healthcare in the 21st century. The jobs are waiting. If you are interested in finding out more visit Nursing and Health Occupations.