College cuts numbers for 1st-year nursing students by nearly half

ONTARIO — Treasure Valley Community College is making progress in rejuvenating its nursing program and will start classes again this fall for new nursing students, having hired a new director of the nursing program and two additional instructors.

This was announced Tuesday at the college board meeting.

These hires are pending approval of the Oregon State Board of Nursing.

With the resignation of the former nursing director, TVCC had to submit a remediation plan to the nursing board for its approval.

TVCC’s plan is to lower this fall’s first year nursing class to 14 students, rather than the normal 24. The plan is to move the number back up to 24 at the start of the 2020-21 school year.

This will allow the new faculty members more time to help and assist the new students.

“While we are so excited we’ve already been able to hire qualified nursing faculty, we know these new faculty members, as well as our new director will need time to not only teach the students, but to evaluate all processes at TVCC and become familiar with the curriculum,” said TVCC President Dana Young.

Dr. Paulla Mizer, was hired July 8 as the executive director of the nursing program, pending nursing board approval, joining Brianne Haun and Michelle Clapperton, both graduates of the TVCC nursing program who have taught there.

TVCC’s current director of nursing has been helping with the transition through the summer, Lee said, and that the college has received an outpouring of support from local health-care providers.

“This has been a significant change for TVCC and we have met this challenge with tenacity, determination and steady resolve to use this as an opportunity to evaluate our strengths and to draw upon the depth of expertise from so many of our partners across the state,” TVCC Young said.

In particular, nursing partners include Mount Hood Community College, Clackamas Community College, and Oregon Health Science University. Local partners include Saint Alphonsus Medical Center-Ontario, St Luke’s, Valley Family Health, Weiss Memorial Health, Heart N Home Hospice and Horizon Hospice.

“It is humbling and gratifying to see the strong relationships that have been forged for almost sixty years in this community because of the nursing program and because of so many incredible nursing faculty we’ve had over the years.”

Board member Mark Wettstein spoke of the need to expand TVCC’s nursing program from two years to four years because that is what health-care providers are asking for.

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