A record number of nursing graduates are preparing for the workforce, or already have nursing jobs, thanks to Hazard Community and Technical College. A total of 62 Registered Nurse (RN) students have graduated in spring 2019 and December 2018, which is the highest number in recent years. Christy Martin, Nursing Program Coordinator, noted, “The nursing field currently has a major shortage. These graduates have job offers before they have even completed the program.”
The nursing shortage is nationwide. “Graduates can stay here in the area and have no problem finding a job, or they can basically go anywhere they wish and start their career,” Martin said.
Dr. Paul Currie, Academic Dean, attributed the success to the expanded capacity, which was the result of the relocation of the two separate sites (Jackson and Technical Campus) to a single site at Ky. 15 Campus in Hazard. HCTC also added night programs, which begin every January. That move streamlined the process for Licensed Practical Nursing (LPN) students to bridge into the RN program by taking a Nursing Accelerated Challenge Exam (NACE). Passing the exams allows LPNs to begin in the second term of the four-term program.
Dr. Currie said that HCTC is the best deal around for those wanting a nursing degree. “Our total program cost is approximately $10,000 per student, with approximately 80% or more of the students completing the program on the regular four-term schedule.”
HCTC President Dr. Jennifer Lindon congratulated her academic leadership and nursing faculty for the success they have created. “I’m very appreciative of the changes that were made, because time has proven they were changes in the right direction. We are all committed to doing what is right for the region and addressing the nursing shortage was important to us. We invite others to consider our nursing program, because of the commitment and excellence of our nursing faculty.”
Anyone interested in enrolling can contact Christy.Martin@kctcs.edu via email.