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Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Ivy Tech making changes, looking forward

Friday, August 27, 2010

First-year nursing students Jacob Parrish, Kelly Russ, Polly Pope and Owen Ratcliff look on as assistant practical nursing professor Terra Baughman (center) explains how to practice bedside manner with a MetiMan nursing patient simulator Thursday in one of the nursing labs at Ivy Tech's Greencastle campus. The simulator was purchased with money received from the "Changing Lives...Building Futures" capital campaign. Banner Graphic/AMANDA JUNK
GREENCASTLE -- The Ivy Tech Community College Greencastle Campus is nearing its "Changing Lives...Building Futures" capital campaign goal with hopes to reach its $1.9 million goal by the end of the year.

Becky Miller, executive director of resource development, said the campaign is more than 80 percent complete and currently sits at $260,000 left to match. The goal is to have all capital raised by the end of this year.

"We're still moving forward," she said. "We hope to have the effort wrapped up pretty soon."

Greencastle's Citizens Advisory Commission for Industrial Development (CACFID) matched an additional $300,000 toward the school's technology and scholarship needs in 2008; CACFID also gave the campus $5,000 to match the Commissioners' Office gift in June.

The technology fund is administered by the Putnam County Community Foundation.

Changes to the school's nursing program also kicked off the school's fall semester.

Students will now have more opportunities to complete the clinical portion of their degree, Miller said.

During the last several months, Miller said administrators have investigated and evaluated ways to improve the nursing program.

"Our bottom line is that we want to produce the best-educated workforce that we can. That's our focus and direction," she said.

Miller highlighted some of the changes, which include increasing emphasis on preparing students to be successful on the licensure exam, providing more diverse and quality clinical experiences by working with local health care providers and increasing the rigor and consistency in instruction and student evaluation.

She said traditionally a lot of nursing students at the Greencastle branch have done their clinicals locally; now they will be more able to complete their clinicals across the Wabash Valley.

"We've found we're not as much a clinical site space with the number of students we serve, so we've adjusted to reflect that," she said. "What the community is going to see is that we're getting our students more opportunities to be successful by getting a more robust experience."

"We are looking at regional opportunities for our nursing students, which increase learning opportunities available for students throughout the Wabash Valley," Miller said. "We are working closely with our local health care providers to find enough appropriate clinical experiences particularly for second level ASN."

This does not mean that the Greencastle branch is being absorbed by the Terre Haute branch or any of the other branches in the Wabash Valley region, nursing department chair Kim Cooper said.

"We're not doing anything to cancel or delete it," she said.

Greencastle students have always had some part of their clinical training in Terre Haute, and by looking at resources, the number of faculty and students, the goal was to give them the best possible experience they could have, she said.

"That means utilizing resources that are here in Putnam County as well as all the seven potential counties that are part of the Wabash Valley region," she said.

The nursing program at the Greencastle branch currently has 56 total students enrolled and three faculty members on site for instruction; both numbers are based on clinical space and faculty ability.

The nursing program has accepted 20 new transitional registered nursing (RN) students for the 2010 semester, 20 new licensed practitioner nursing (LPN) students for the fall 2010 semester and 20 new LPN students for the spring 2011 semester at the Greencastle branch. There were no new associates of science in nursing (ASN) students.

The branch is accepting the same number of students in the health science program but has adjusted some of the areas they fall into. Miller said the program would be back to the normal acceptance for students by the summer of 2011.

The Greencastle branch is divided into clinical, laboratory and theory-based portions. Clinical portions are the only ones taken off campus, which is common for any four-semester ASN nursing program.

"A student is on a two-year job interview, and they're trying to catch the attention of nursing managers," Cooper said. "So to expose them to as many of those as we can is to their benefit."

Cooper said the changes would also focus more on additional study groups and smaller class sizes.

"The changes that we're making are to try to get the best use of resources that we have within the Wabash Valley," she said.

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