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First county dual enrollment nursing students to graduate

Six seniors will graduate from high school this year with not only a diploma, but also a major step closer to a long-term career in the nursing field.

The seniors, four from Vicksburg High and two from Warren Central, are the first students in a dual enrollment nursing program offered at the Hinds Community College Vicksburg Warren Campus.

“We had a pilot program that was in Rankin where we took the high school students in their senior year and allowed them to enter into the nursing program,” Hinds Practical Nursing Instructor Meshell Chambliss said. “When they graduate from high school, they have six more months to complete and they become LPNs”

The program was expanded to Warren County starting this year.

A grant pays for their tuition while in high school as well as their uniforms. After they graduate from high school, they only have to complete summer and fall courses before being certified as an LPN-2.

“The LPN program has been a great opportunity for me this year,” VHS senior Lily Brown said. “It has offered me a chance to realize that this is what I want to do for a long time. It has been great.”

The students enroll in two classes at Hinds in the fall semester of their senior year and one class in the spring semester. They also complete a practicum at Shady Lawn Nursing Home.

“We treat patients. We take care of their wounds. We give them shots,” VHS senior Tiye Strong said. “I’ve learned how to do a shot. I’ve learned how to do wound care. I’ve learned how to change a patient’s bed the right way. Doing this early will help me to further my career as a nurse because I don’t want to be just an LPN, I want to go further.”

Students that complete the LPN program will have the ability to work as a nurse at long-term care facilities or nursing homes like Shady Lawn. They will also have the opportunity to enroll in the 12-month RN bridge program at Hinds, which opens additional doors.

“It gives them a better opportunity to not just have a job, but have a career, and to get them started without any out of pocket expenses other then their health records and vaccinations,” Chambless said of the dual enrollment program. “It gives them a good start, and when they finish they will have a profession making good money that they can make a living off of.”

Registration is currently open for VHS and WCHS students interested in participated in the program during the 2017-18 school year.

Interested students must submit an application to Hinds and have at least an 18 on the ACT. They must also submit an application to the Practical Nursing Program.

For more information you can contact Chambliss at 601-629-6868 or Nursing director Jane Skinner at 601-629-6870.