Camden Clark Joins With West Virginia Junior College for New Hybrid Nursing Program

An 18-month nursing program will allow students to achieve a nursing degree without ever stepping foot into a classroom. Students who participate in the West Virginia Junior College (WVJC) Wood County nursing program will take classes online, and attend lab and clinical experiences at WVU Medicine Camden Clark, and in the WVJC’s Mobile Nursing Lab, during evenings and weekends.

The Mobile Nursing Lab is a 38-foot retrofitted RV with two simulated hospital rooms. It is used for pediatric, obstetric, and geriatric nursing training, and includes artificial patients equipped with high-fidelity simulation technology that mimics a patient’s blinking, breathing, and pulse. All facets of the technology are controlled by a skilled operator from within the mobile lab.

“We’re very excited about this,” said Cheryl Bailey, interim chief nursing officer for Camden Clark. “It’s offering something different for people that maybe have day obligations and haven’t been able to work the time to go to school. So, with this program offering evenings and weekends, that’s really wonderful. That’s thinking outside of the box.“

WVJC CEO Chad Callen said, “Gov. Jim Justice recognized the need for solving the nursing shortage, which is near crisis levels, and provided funding through the Nursing Workforce Expansion Grant for programs all across the state to expand their nursing programs. This is a product of that investment.”

Justice announced in May that nearly $23 million in grant funding was going to be awarded to 26 nursing education programs at colleges, universities, schools of nursing, and career technical education centers across West Virginia.

The WVJC’s Mobile Nursing Lab is the only one of its kind, but Callen said there are two more labs on the way that he expects to be put into service at the beginning of 2023.

Potential students will have to fulfill requirements before being accepted into the program. They will have to pass an entrance exam, submit letters of reference and essays, and pass an interview with the Camden Clark nursing department.