Registered Nursing program here to stay on Ontario campus
Since July of last year, SJVC’s Ontario campus has been training 120 Registered Nursing students who found closed doors when they showed up for class at their Everest college campus on April 27, 2015. Mike Perry, SJVC’s co-owner and CEO, along with several corporate staff members, threw themselves into rescue mode.
“These (RN) students just wanted to complete their education,” says Carole Browne, Vice President Academic Affairs. “We all believed that helping them was the right thing to do.”
SJVC’s Visalia campus has offered a Registered Nursing program for many years, and a solid framework was in place to offer the program on the Ontario campus. The most arduous task was undertaking the steps needed to gain approval from the Board of Registered Nurses (BRN), verify and pre-qualify transferring students, and provide physical space and staffing for the program addition.
On July 6, the Registered Nursing program made its debut on the Ontario campus to the vocal gratitude of those 120 students and 15 new (former Everest) staff and faculty, who enjoyed the opportunity to help complete what they had begun with these students.
The first day of school for those incoming Registered Nursing students was a momentous occasion. “These students have been most gracious, waving to us all and so excited,” says Sherril Hein, Ontario Campus Director
Many of the Registered Nursing students were just a couple of months away from graduation when their education and careers were threatened by closed doors. Those same students had their Registered Nursing pinning ceremony at SJVC in October, and provided a slide show about “when disaster hit” at Everest and how SJVC “came to the rescue.”
“All the pinning ceremonies are special, but this one was particularly special,” says Sherril. “Their video showed the day their school closed when they were all in the parking lot and didn’t know what to do. I think it really touched everyone. The odd thing is, it didn’t seem as though we only had them for 3 months. It felt like they had been here all the time.”
These graduates are now on their way to their futures in the medical field.
“I have wanted to have the nursing program down here for several years,” says Sherril. “Not a day had gone by that we did not get 3-4 calls for an Registered Nursing program. We are well known in Respiratory Therapy and Dental Hygiene, and now I want to make a mark in the RN field, as well.”
Plans are taking shape for the campus to start the Registered Nursing program with all new SJVC students. “We are hoping to start 40 RN students in May and November (2016),” says Sherril. Those answering the phone at the campus are happy to finally be able to give all of those callers interested in the Registered Nursing program a positive response to their inquiry.
Graduates from SJVC’s Registered Nursing program are eligible to take the NCLEX, an exam that graduates must pass to become registered.
Looking back over the last few months, the effort SJVC made to help those students who almost had their careers snatched from their grasp comes into perspective.
“There was such a sense of pride in our college, that we could come together and do this,” says Sherril. “It’s not often in our lives that we’re able to help people make their dreams come true. I just felt very privileged to have been a part of it and see so many people moving forward, their lives changed.”
That legacy of helping others to achieve their career aspirations will live on, as the Ontario campus continues to provide this medical program to many more to come.