New River Community and Technical College has been awarded over $420,000 through West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice’s Nursing Workforce Expansion Program, which is designed to address the state’s nursing shortage through a multifaceted approach to attract, train, and retain nurses in the Mountain State. Representing a fundamental part of this approach, an award program was established to fund nursing program expansion projects at colleges, universities, schools of nursing, and career technical education centers across West Virginia.
Through New River CTC’s award, the college will equip additional classroom and learning space for the expansion of the practical nursing program and develop a paramedic to registered nurse pathway. Funds from the program will allow New River CTC to host a national expert on concept-based curriculum design, to purchase multiple manikins and two virtual dissection tables along with other equipment and supplies.
“The expansion program funds will help New River CTC to help more students earn credentials to enter the field of nursing and serve our communities by increasing the number of qualified nurses in the region,” said Dr. Bonny Copenhaver, New River CTC President.
The nursing program expansion awards are administered by the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission and Community and Technical College System. Twenty-six funded projects across the state were announced by Gov. Justice on March 17. Approved projects were required to be focused on increasing enrollment in pre-licensure nursing programs through innovative approaches focused on timely degree completion and licensure for graduates.
“We are tremendously grateful to Gov. Justice for providing this historic funding to support the expansion of nursing education programs across West Virginia,” said Dr. Sarah Armstrong Tucker, West Virginia’s Chancellor of Higher Education. “Through these new projects, our postsecondary education community will be better positioned to help shore up West Virginia’s nursing workforce – which, in turn, will help support our nurses working tirelessly on the front lines right now.”
Governor Justice announced the West Virginia Nursing Workforce Expansion Program in December 2021 by dedicating $48 million to support new and expanded initiatives that will train new nurses, fully fund the West Virginia Nursing Scholarship Program, value nurses already practicing in the state, and recruit nurses into West Virginia.