January 9, 2014

Two-year nursing course begins at Wiregrass

January 9, 2014 Kristin Finney The Valdosta Daily Times

VALDOSTA — The call to become a nurse touches the lives of many men and women across the region. However, until recently, these nursing hopefuls have had limited opportunities to pursue their dreams. That changed this semester thanks to the new nursing program available at Wiregrass Georgia Technical College.

WGTC held the first class for their new Associate of Science in Nursing program on Jan. 6. This new program will allow students to receive their Associate of Science in Nursing degrees and graduate as certified Registered Nurses in two years. The typical nursing program is a four year Bachelors program.

"I remember being 18 and wanting to go into the nursing program and I was amazed that Valdosta didn't have a two year program. Our community is big enough to support it and we need it. Our community needs it, South Georgia Medical Center needs it. It's just very needed here," said Darlene Ridley, MSN, RN, WGTC program director for the Associate of Science in Nursing program.

Students in the program will take 42 nursing course hours in five nursing semesters by the time they graduate in Summer 2015. They will take courses on the fundamentals of nursing, pharmacology, health assessment, medical surgical nursing, obstetrics, pediatrics, psychiatric nursing, advanced medical surgical nursing and they will also take a leadership class.

"Our main goal and our main focus is to get our students to pass the NCLEX exam. We also focus on making sure all of our students will be safe, competent and professional nurses. I know that this class is going to be successful. Our curriculum is strong and solid," said Ridley.

The next round of nursing students will begin the program in January 2015. To be accepted into the program, students must have completed all of their core classes with a 3.0 GPA or higher and passed the HESI entrance exam.  WGTC will accept applications for the next class of nursing students until August 2014. There are limited spots available in the program, and new programs will begin each year in January.

For more information on the program, please contact Ridley at (229) 333-2100 ext 3084.

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