Lacombe, La – Northshore Technical Community College (NTCC) has become the first college in the state of Louisiana to establish a nontraditional dual-enrolled Practical Nursing cohort for high school students, set to start in Fall 2022. This nontraditional cohort will take classes from the first-semester curriculum of the Practical Nursing program in their Junior and Senior years of High School. Once completing all first-semester practical nursing courses and graduating from High School, the student will be given advanced standing into the program's second semester. This enables the student to continue into the second semester of the Practical Nursing Program and complete the program 12 months after they complete high school in a high-wage, high-demand job.
NTCC has been a long-standing community college with five campuses in Lacombe, Bogalusa, Livingston, Hammond, and Livingston that offer a Practical Nursing Program at each campus to ensure we reach the surrounding regions. Being able to capture High School students during their junior year can help them be successful early in the practical nursing program. "We are excited for our students to have another career pathway for high-wage, high-demand jobs. The medical field is a vital part of our St. Tammany community, and through this partnership with NTCC, we will be able to offer students the opportunity to have careers in the same parish where they attend school," said Frank Jabbia, St. Tammany Parish Public School System Superintendent. Additionally, this program will help them become job-ready in nursing within one year of High School graduation.
Christi Marceaux, Associate Provost, Health Sciences and Nursing at Northshore Technical Community College, stated that "with the current shortage of healthcare workers and nurses in our communities, it is vital for us to find innovative ways to assist students in achieving their goals as timely as possible. We believe programs such as this one will allow us to deliver the highest quality education in the shortest time possible to benefit students and our community at large." NTCC is looking to recruit up to forty students from high schools in the area that will meet full admission criteria for the traditional PN Cohort.
Students admitted to the High School Dual-Enrollment Pre-Practical Nursing Program will follow the approved NTCC-LAC Practical Nursing Program Curriculum. The curriculum is designed to ensure program graduates possess the knowledge, skill, ability, and clinical competency to practice safely and effectively as entry-level practical nurses in the state of Louisiana. "The ability to provide high school students with an advanced start in preparing to become a Practical Nurse will sustain an essential and noble profession and create pathways to prosperity for our graduates," said Dr. William S. Wainwright, Chancellor of Northshore Technical Community College.