RichmondCC Explores New Ways to Help Nursing Students Succeed
Aug. 9, 2019 – Nursing Department Chair Janet Sims updated Richmond Community College’s Board of Trustees about measures put into place to maintain the standards for the nursing programs to produce highly qualified graduates.
“I’m really pleased with what we’ve done in nursing,” Sims said during the board meeting on Tuesday. “We began to look at each area of our program, starting with recruitment, admissions and each course individually to see where our students were not finding success.”
Using a campus-wide approach, Sims said they addressed issues such as providing more TEAS testing dates through Student Services, connecting students with financial aid resources to help working students offset costs and focus on their studies, teaching them better reading and study skills and hiring an academic coach to spend one-on-one time with students.
“We’ve had very positive responses from our students to these measures we’ve taken,” Sims said. “The new Simulation Learning Center has also played a very big part in the success of our student retention and recruitment.”
In 2018, the Associate Degree of Nursing program had 19 graduates. In May of this year, 33 nursing students graduated from the program. All 33 graduates have successfully passed the NCLEX state examination, and all 33 graduates are employed.
The nursing programs for the 2019 Fall Semester are nearly at full capacity based on classroom and clinical sites, as designated by the N.C. Board of Nursing.
Finish Line Grants
The Board was also given a report on the distribution of federal grant money to help RichmondCC students who were facing obstacles preventing them from graduating. The College used $13,832 from the Finish Line Grant fund to assist 17 students overcome unforeseen emergencies affecting their education.
Up to $7 million of federal funds was made available to students at all 58 community colleges in North Carolina for the 2018-19 academic year through the Finish Line Grant.
Dr. Dale McInnis, president of RichmondCC, applauded the staff in Student Services who worked hard to award these federal grants.
McInnis provided an update to the progress of the Robinette Building in downtown Rockingham. Precast panels are starting to go up on the outside of the structure as the new facility that will house the Leon Levine School of Business & Information Technology takes shape.
As for the renovations to main campus, the College is waiting for full notice to proceed from the State Construction Office, but expects construction to begin in September.
In June, the board recommended awarding the contract for the construction project on main campus to Hoss Contracting of Monroe. The project includes renovations to the oldest building on campus, the Lee Building, for expanded space for Student Services and the Career & Transfer Center to create a one-stop shop for meeting with counselors about classes, financial aid, veterans benefits, career planning and transfer pathways. The project also includes the addition of a student cafeteria to the Lindsey-Petris Building.
As for the Scotland County campus, the Morgan Center is complete and housed the STEAM camps held in Laurinburg this summer. The Detention Officer Certification class, which wrapped up Wednesday, was also held in the Morgan Center. The College plans to outfit one of the classrooms with industrial mechanic training equipment in order to offer that program in Scotland County.
McInnis said the Covington Street Building renovations, which have been managed by Scotland County Government, are scheduled to be complete Sept. 27. The College will then begin furniture and network installations to get the facility ready for housing the Scotland County Early College (SEarCH) program.