Southwestern expands nursing program

Coos Bay, OR – Southwestern Oregon Community College is growing its capacity to train registered nurses in an effort to provide more workers for the region’s hospitals and medical clinics.

On average, the college graduates 27 registered nurses annually. The College will increase Nursing Program enrollment by eight students this spring term on its Coos Campus and by five students on its Curry Campus in fall 2019.

“Nursing is a good career for those that have a passion for helping people.  We have no shortage of qualified students applying to our Nursing Program, but there is a shortage of Registered Nurses and jobs remained unfilled in our region,” said Susan Walker, SWOCC Director of Nursing.  “This small gain in our program will help local people train for a nursing career, and assist the five regional hospitals and many medical clinics dealing with the nursing shortage.”

Demand for registered nurses is expected to grow statewide through 2027. Currently, the Oregon Employment Department lists nearly 40 jobs for registered nurses in Coos and Curry counties. The average hourly wage for registered nurses on the South Coast is $39.18 per hour. 

In addition to expanding enrollment, the college has added full-time nursing faculty, including Dr. Judy Dornbach, who will teach on the Curry Campus in Brookings, and Shirley Reynolds, who teaches on the Coos Bay Campus.  Dr. Dornbach and Reynolds teach labs and clinical instruction for first-year nursing students. They lecture to both first-year and second-year students on both campuses using video technology connecting classrooms. Southwestern has trained nursing students using this model for 10 years, with the majority of its graduates staying on the southern Oregon coast to work in area hospitals and clinics.

“I am very excited to be part of this growing program and for the opportunity help educate future nurses,” said Dr. Dornbach, who has 30 years’ experience in patient care, management and education.

The college plans to continue to gradually expand the Nursing Program following completion of the new Umpqua Health & Science Building on the Coos Campus in the 2020-21 school year.

Individuals interested in pursuing a degree in nursing are encouraged to make an appointment to talk to an advisor. The prerequisite courses required to apply to the Nursing Program are offered on both of the college’s campus and many courses are also available online.

Anyone interested in learning more about the Nursing Program can go to www.socc.edu/nursing.  To make an appointment with an advisor in Brookings, call the Curry First Stop at 541-813-1667. For advising in Coos Bay, call 541-888-7405.

 

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