Currently, there are approximately 3 million registered nurses in the US with more than 5,000 employment vacancies. The Board of Labor and Statistics estimates more than 500,000 RNs will be needed by 2030 to cover the medical needs of the country and vacancies caused by RNs retiring. In WV alone, more than 2,000 new RNs will be needed by 2025 to meet the state’s health care needs.
WVJC Bridgeport’s Nursing program lasts 18 months, with classes starting each June. Classes are Monday through Friday with scheduling to assist students who are actively working. Those who have completed Practical Nursing programs** have the opportunity to test out of several classes and can potentially achieve their nursing degree in as little as one year. If you have a desire to become a Registered Nurse, request information here!
*Passing the NCLEX – RN exam is required to become a Registered Nurse. **See catalog for detailed eligibility criteria. Credits may not be transferable. Individual results may vary. Information on this slide was current at the time of publishing.
West Virginia Junior College and Health Access have had an externship partnership since 2018. Health Access has a philanthropic mission and devotion to serving the underserved, which has made for a perfect match with WVJC students interested in the medical field.
Health Access helps serve the community by providing access to comprehensive medical care spanning across several services such as primary care, cancer screenings, prescription fulfillment, dental care, vision screening, behavioral medicine, harm reduction, and women’s healthcare. Their mission to serve those who may otherwise lack access or be unable to afford care has helped the uninsured seek care when needed the most. The services they provide come at no cost for the most vulnerable residents of Harrison and Doddridge counties.
Josh Brown, Medical Practice Manager of Health Access, has always welcomed WVJC students to the facility to work alongside his staff and gain real-world knowledge in the medical field. Several students in the Clinical Medical Assistant, Medical Office Administration, and Medical Coding programs have completed their externship hours at the facility and have obtained crucial patient interaction experience.
West Virginia Junior College is proud to have an affiliation with such a critical organization for North Central West Virginia residents. WVJC hopes to continue this partnership for years to come.
To learn more about WVJC’s externship program, request information here!
Healthcare is dynamic. There are always new discoveries being made such as better ways to manage illness and more efficient ways of providing and managing healthcare delivery. These concepts have become very apparent in the midst of a global pandemic. Healthcare will be forever changed, but how does a global pandemic affect healthcare close to home?
Harrison County has seen great growth in options for care including increasing availability of specialists and primary care providers, and best care treatment that, at one time, was only available at major out-of-state hospitals. Locally, there are now health coaches and care navigators to support those with chronic or complex medical needs to access the most appropriate care and reduce complications.
However, there are some challenging statistics facing our area. Harrison County is not immune to feeling the effects of a nation-wide nursing shortage. The latest information shows that approximately 35%-40% of nurses currently practicing in WV are within 5-7 years of retiring. West Virginia ranks 4th in the number of residents over 65 and 1st in the number of residents with diabetes. Our facilities are adding advanced technology such as fully electronic records and upgrading to high-tech diagnostic equipment. In the mix of all of this change, COVID-19 hit and changed how we provide direct care to people, how people access care and visit their doctors, and even how we maintain and order supplies. This has also led to an overnight explosion in telehealth use.
Why does all of this information matter? For local hospitals, facilities, and healthcare providers to be able to meet the needs of Harrison County residents, they will require a pool of well-trained individuals. Not only nurses, but those with IT specialties to maintain the growing technologies, and medical assistants and office managers to keep departments running smoothly and supplies readily available. Some other types of healthcare professionals that will be needed include those in dentistry, physical/occupational therapy, and mental health services.
If you have considered a career change or have an interest in pursuing a healthcare career or becoming an essential worker request information here!