SANFORD - Working adults wanting to pursue nursing now have a more convenient path to their new career -- thanks to evening classes starting this fall at Central Carolina Community College.
Program Director Consuela Blaizes says evening courses at CCCC's Harnett Health Sciences Center in Lillington are identical to those offered during the day. They have the same instructors and follow the same three-semester format. The only difference is when they meet.
"This is a statewide trend," said Blaizes. "Several community colleges are offering this option because many of our students are stay-at-home moms or people who are working during the day."
The "evening cohort," as the group is called, also allows CCCC to train more nurses to meet a growing local demand. While classroom facilities limit the number of students who can be trained at any given time, evening classes allow the college to expand admission to 60 students each year -- with 40 studying during the day and 20 in the evening.
CCCC's Practical Nursing curriculum prepares graduates to take the national licensing exam to become a Licensed Practical Nurse and work in a variety of healthcare settings. Blaizes says half of the most recent graduates plan to continue study toward becoming a Registered Nurse. Others have job offers in physicians' offices and long-term care facilities.
More Practical Nurses are practicing in hospitals, where they didn't work as often in the past. Practical Nurses collect medical information, but are not permitted to provide assessments, though many hospitals are beginning to provide the additional training and certification.
While CCCC nursing classes are full for the upcoming academic year, Blaizes said this is the ideal time to begin the admissions process for next year's class, since there's still time this fall to finish any prerequisites needed before the nursing application process begins in January.
Prospective students should apply now to the college and schedule placement testing. Then, meet with a nursing admission counselor, who will assess academic transcripts to see what additional courses might be needed. Those courses can be completed during the fall semester, which begins classes on August 20. Applications to the nursing program are submitted in January and reviewed in March.
To learn more about Central Carolina Community College and its programs, visit www.cccc.edu.