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$500K investment will expand LPN programs at Virginia’s Community Colleges

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A new partnership with Virginia-based Medical Facilities of America will allow more students to participate in popular nursing programs at Virginia’s Community Colleges.

With more than 300,000 Virginians currently furloughed or unemployed, many individuals are facing the added challenge of knowing that their former job may never return because of coronavirus-related changes to our economy. This dramatic shift in available job opportunities has necessitated that workers retrain and earn certifications that allow them to change careers or make themselves more attractive candidates to potential employers in order to support their families.

The four-year investment from Medical Facilities of America through the Virginia Foundation for Community College Education (VFCCE) serves to support these industrious students by expanding Licensed Practical Nursing (LPN) programs in the Virginia Community College System (VCCS). Through MFA’s leadership in growing healthcare opportunities, the VCCS will acquire more skilled instructors and increase available capacity at training facilities so that more individuals can pursue training in these high-demand programs.

Nursing program expansions and scholarship assistance will initially launch at John Tyler Community College, J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College, Paul D. Camp Community College, and Virginia Western Community College, enabling an additional 75 program graduates to enter the workforce each year. Through MFA’s investment and leadership in this initiative, these four colleges will establish the pilot program to refine a model for expansion to be implemented statewide, nearly doubling the number of potential nursing graduates in existing programs.

William H. Fralin Jr., president and CEO of MFA stated, “Nurses are a cornerstone of a quality healthcare system, and by helping to provide access to comprehensive training through the VCCS to more students, we know that all Virginians will benefit as a result. We are proud to work with the Virginia Foundation for Community College Education to organize this expansion to strengthen healthcare employment opportunities and build a high quality workforce. Covid-19 has demonstrated the demand for even more health care professionals in the future, we need to train these future heroes now.”

The popularity of LPN training at Virginia’s Community Colleges has increased over the past decade. These programs have reached such high levels of demand because they ensure that students are highly skilled, acquire the necessary hands-on training to excel in the field, and are prepared and eligible to take the NCLEX-PN exam. There are LPN programs through the VCCS that can provide students with the opportunity to earn credentials in nursing after three consecutive and intensive semesters of study.

“Our LPN program is a challenging one, but its goal is to produce nurses who are able to provide safe and effective care, to advocate on behalf of those in their care, to communicate therapeutically with their clients and to collaborate with all healthcare team members in order to ensure the best possible outcomes for the patient,” said Lundy Beard, a practical nurse program director in the Virginia Community College System.

As the leading producer of qualified allied healthcare workers, Virginia’s Community Colleges are uniquely equipped to ensure that the Commonwealth continues to have skilled candidates for essential nursing positions. With help from MFA and the VFCCE, Virginia’s Community Colleges are now poised to boost healthcare opportunities for students across the state and help fill those roles in the nursing field more quickly.

“This partnership with Medical Facilities of America is especially valuable at a time when more adults need to re-tool their job skills as a result of the economic disruption caused by the coronavirus.  This effort will help working adults find a path toward careers that are in demand,” said Stewart Roberson, VFCCE Board Chair.

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