- Associated Press - Thursday, June 12, 2014

LAFAYETTE, La. (AP) - South Louisiana Community College can start enrolling students into its new registered nursing program, with classes beginning this fall.

The Advocate reports (https://bit.ly/1q6U3zP ) the Louisiana State Board of Nursing gave its approval Wednesday for the college to start accepting students.

“We’ve worked hard to bring this program to fruition, and we’re ready to start preparing students to become registered nurses,” Laurie Fontenot, dean of Nursing, Allied Health and Safety at SLCC, said in a news release.

Only 40 students will be admitted in the program, though Fontenot has said the goal is to expand the program to 60 students.

The program received $500,000 in donations last year from Lafayette’s major hospitals and the Lafayette Economic Development Authority to help fund faculty salaries and equipment needed to get the program off the ground.

Students in the program earn an associate’s degree in nursing and are eligible to take the state’s registered nursing licensing exam.

The start date of the program was contingent upon several factors overseen by the state nursing board, including having faculty in place before curriculum could be developed. The college had a difficult time finding eligible faculty members because of requirements for a master’s degree in nursing, recent clinical experience and experience in curriculum development. Faculty members were hired in January followed by site visits to the college from the state nursing board.

Full approval of the program by the state nursing board is based on progress reports, the results of the program’s first graduating class on the licensing exam and follow-up visits to the campus.

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Information from: The Advocate, https://theadvocate.com

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