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Experienced nursing professors, quality teaching and affordable tuition are what initially attracted Katy deManigold Lindvig to Macon State College’s professional nursing degree program.
But her decision to apply was sealed when Macon State announced it would begin offering the program at its Warner Robins Campus beginning spring semester 2006.
For Lindvig, a resident of Bonaire in south Houston County, that was perfect. “The Warner Robins Campus is only 10 minutes from my home,” she said, “and the faculty and students here are wonderful.”
Lindvig, a full-time student, is following in the footsteps of her mother, a nurse anesthetist for more than 30 years. “I’ve just always enjoyed helping others,” she said.
Now Lindvig is a member of the Warner Robins Campus’ charter associate of science in nursing class expected to graduate in December 2007. Meanwhile, applicants for a second cohort are being accepted through July 1, with classes starting in January 2007.
Support for the program at the Warner Robins Campus has been overwhelming, said Dr. Rebecca Corvey, chair of the Division of Nursing and Health Sciences.
“The entire community, from Warner Robins Mayor Donald Walker’s office to the Houston Healthcare board of directors, has been enthusiastic,” Corvey said. “We believe this opportunity will significantly increase the number of RNs needed by health care facilities in the area.”
Macon State introduced the professional nursing degree program in 1971. Since then, more than 2,500 students have graduated with the degree. This marks the first time courses leading to the degree have been offered outside the Macon campus.
Support from the Houston Healthcare Complex-- which includes Houston Medical Center, Perry Hospital, Houston Heart Institute and Houston Health Pavilion -- was more than vocal.
“This move was made possible through a partnership with Houston Healthcare, whose board of directors last summer agreed to make more of the hospital’s clinical facilities available as teaching environments for our student nurses,” Corvey said.
Macon State’s professional nursing program got a further boost this spring when the College received a state grant to allow a group of Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs) at Houston Healthcare Complex to become RNs. After completing an intensive program of academic and professional coursework, the LPNs will be eligible to take the national licensing exam to become Registered Nurses.
The $226,750 grant was awarded to Macon State through the Intellectual Capital Partnership Program, the economic development arm of the University System of Georgia. The funds will be combined with the resources of Macon State and the Houston Healthcare Complex to fund program development and to recruit the additional faculty, staff and clinical instructors needed to implement the accelerated LPN-RN Mobility program.
Lindvig, who currently is doing her fundamental clinicals at the Houston Medical Center in Warner Robins, said she particularly enjoys the hands-on learning experience at the local healthcare facilities.
Houston Healthcare provided financial assistance for an additional faculty position and donated 10 beds and equipment for a new nursing lab at the Warner Robins Campus, said Dr. Vickie Brown, Macon State’s director of nursing programs.
Macon State also offers the bachelor of science degree in nursing at the Warner Robins Campus, which is a completion program designed for Registered Nurses with associate’s degrees who want to earn a four-year degree to increase their professional knowledge and advance their careers.
“As our students at the Warner Robins Campus complete their associate’s degrees, we can cycle them to our bachelor’s degree in nursing here,” Brown said.
To learn more about Macon State College’s nursing and health science programs, visit www.maconstate.edu/nursing.