The Highland Community College Nursing program is one of the most robust nursing programs in this region and moving closer to being one of the most progressive in the Greater Kansas City area. The program’s nursing instruction is greatly enhanced through the use of simulated mannequins that are computer operated by instructors to mimic a wide range of physical maladies and body functions. This allows the student nurses to learn patient care in a simulated, instructor-controlled environment.
Cynthia Jacobson, Director of Nursing for the Highland program, has been working to enhance the capabilities of the Nursing Simulation Center, recently named for former Director Janean Bowen, on Highland’s Technical Center campus in Atchison. Having received a $10,000 grant from the Courtney S. Turner Charitable Trust, Highland Community College Foundation Executive Director Keith Jaloma was able to raise additional funding in the Atchison community to provide Jacobson with a check for $20,000 that will provide the enhancements she was seeking.
Jacobson has been working with the Laerdal Corporation on the acquisition of a Laerdal Sim View system that will complete the Nursing Simulation Center. With the necessary funds in hand, Jacobson plans to complete the purchase by May, install the hardware and network cable in June, have the Sim View advanced system set up by a Laerdal representative in July, conduct faculty training on Sim View in August, and go live with student learning in September.
Limited by the state in the number of student nurses in the program, Jacobson and her faculty can currently accept 40 nursing students in the Practical Nursing Program and 20 nursing students in the LPN to RN Completion Program which results in an Associate Degree in Nursing. Graduation rates for the two areas are high, with an average of 37 in the LPN program and 20 in the Completion program in the last three years, as well as high pass rates on the national nursing exam – 100 percent of the 2014 LPN grads, the only program in the state to accomplish that rare feat.