For several years, the U.S. has been battling a nursing shortage. To help combat this, Holmes Community College saw the need and agreed to start a new Associate Degree Nursing program on the Goodman Campus starting the first class in January.
“All across the United States, hospitals, facilities, clinics, etc. are suffering from a shortage of nurses,” Director of Health Science Programs Ginger Meriwether said. “Whether it be due to Covid or just aging out of the field, the nursing shortage has made national headlines. We decided to add a cohort in Goodman because it will allow opportunities for students in a rural area that may not have the capabilities to drive long distances to complete a healthcare program. We also were excited to offer the program to those who needed housing on the Goodman Campus.”
The 30-member first class has many facets. “We have a full gamut of students from traditional to non-traditional,” Meriwether said. “Several are commuting students and several are dorm residents. We are excited that they have chosen Holmes to broaden their knowledge, and we look forward to growing our Associate Degree Nursing Program in this area. The opportunities for many were broadened by offering the program on our home campus.”
Goodman ADN instructors are Kaitlyn Chunn and Anna Brittain. Chunn transitions to ADN from the Healthcare Assistant Program in Goodman and has experience in surgical and medical-surgical nursing. Brittain has done clinical adjunct for Holmes’ Practical Nursing and our Associate Degree Nursing Programs for several semesters.
“Kaitlyn brings a youthfulness and vigor to the program that welcomes students to the field of nursing,” Meriwether said. “Anna is a seasoned ER nurse, and she brings great experiences and expertise to the classroom. We are pleased to have the both of them and look forward to what all they will accomplish with this newly established cohort.”
The ADN program utilizes classrooms in the newly-remodeled Phillips Building on the Goodman Campus and in the Thorne Vocational-Technical Building.
“We cannot thank those in maintenance, housekeeping, CTE, Dr. (Jim) Haffey, Dr. (Amy) Whittington enough for the many efforts they have put into the opening of our new classrooms,” Meriwether said. “I am thankful for Dr. Alice Austin and Patty Jones who have also worked diligently to get the Goodman program up and running.”
“We have ordered and are still in the process of ordering state of the art equipment that will make the laboratory facility on the Goodman Campus competitive with any nursing laboratory across our region,” she said. “We are indebted to each person who has had a hand in everything from remodeling, to moving furniture and to ordering and securing equipment.”
She said she is grateful to the nursing faculty at Grenada and Ridgeland who reached out to new instructors making sure they have everything they need in the new program.
The application cycle will occur annually from Aug. 1-Sept. 15. The Goodman cohort begins in January each year, and the first cohort is set for graduation in Dec. 2024.
“They have 4 semesters of curriculum and they are offered an externship opportunity that occurs in the summer before graduation,” Meriwether said. “Local hospitals, working through the Mississippi Hospital Association, provide learning opportunities for students to obtain great experience in the field of nursing, and they get paid for this opportunity as well. They work hand in hand with a registered nurse, and they gain wonderful experiences.”
“I sincerely thank Holmes Community College for the opportunity to grow our programs,” she said. “I feel that Health Science Programs are in high demand across the region, the state, and the U.S. as a whole. I am thankful to work at such a place that encourages growth. It is very exciting to see the numbers improve and to be able to see programs collaborating with each other to reach the goals of a fast moving industry.”
Holmes also offers ADN classes at the Grenada and Ridgeland Campuses. For more information on ADN at Holmes Community College, go to https://holmescc.edu/career-technical/associate-of-applied-science/ or call 1-800-Holmes-4.