Etched in stone
Published 6:20 pm Friday, April 22, 2022
By LISA NEWSOME
RCCC Public Relations
AHOSKIE – Roanoke-Chowan Community College and Martin Community College officially signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on April 12 to partner in educating registered nurses through Roanoke-Chowan Community College’s Associate Degree Nursing (ADN) program.
The agreement provides Martin Community College students who meet program eligibility the opportunity to enter Roanoke-Chowan Community College’s nursing program.
R-CCC Executive Vice President Stephanie Benson welcomed college Trustees and representatives from both colleges saying, “This partnership symbolizes an alignment of values between the colleges and an opportunity for a seamless transfer of nursing students which will have a positive impact on our regional healthcare workforce.”
“This partnership will solve two important problems,” said Burr Sullivan, chair of the State Board of Community Colleges. “It will put a ‘dent’ into the nursing shortage in northeastern NC counties, and it is a model for what other colleges need to do. These two presidents have the wisdom to work together instead of competing.”
Sullivan pointed out the nursing shortage in the state is a crisis, saying it takes around 200,000 new nurses every year to replace the ones who are retiring in North Carolina.
Jean Matthews of the R-CCC Board of Trustees delivered remarks from the Board.
“As a Trustee, I commend these two presidents for their vision,” Matthews said. “Nursing is the most in-demand job in the workplace. Our two small community colleges have set the standard for others to follow. We must all do our part to assure success.”
The MOU states that R-CCC will reserve ten (10) spaces annually for students from Martin Community College (which does not have an associate degree nursing program) to apply and enter the associate degree nursing program at R-CCC. Students will complete general education courses at MCC and apply to be accepted to Roanoke-Chowan’s nursing degree program.
Judy Bruno, President of Vidant Roanoke-Chowan Hospital, representing local healthcare entities, pointed out the need for a ‘pipeline’ of qualified nurses to improve the health and well-being of people in eastern North Carolina.
“We have to think differently and this is a great way to innovate to fill the nursing shortage,” stated Bruno.
First year nursing student Jessi Mizelle spoke about the associate degree nursing program and how she values the faculty and training of the program at R-CCC.
Presidential remarks were heard from Dr. Murray J. Williams, R-CCC, and Wesley Beddard, MCC.
“This is a great day for Roanoke Chowan Community College and Martin Community College,” said Dr. Williams. “It is proof that collaboration and partnerships work. We have come together to make sure this part of the state has the nurses it needs.”
In his remarks, President Beddard pointed out that sharing resources is a great opportunity because nursing programs are expensive and clinical training sites in healthcare facilities are scarce.
“We have to grow our own and keep our own here in northeastern North Carolina,” stated Beddard. “Martin Community College is excited to be a part of this partnership.”
Closing remarks were given by Dr. Jami Woods, VP of Instruction and Student Services, R-CCC, and Dr. Tabitha Miller, AVP of Instruction, Martin Community College.
“We are committed to working together to provide the resources and collaboration to make this partnership work,” concluded Dr. Woods.
For more information about the Associate Degree Nursing Program at R-CCC and the agreement with Martin Community College, call 252-862-1327.