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

ONTARIO — In less than two months, TVCC has successfully found a candidate to lead its nursing program, according to a news release from the college on Monday afternoon.

Dr. Paulla Mizer, of Caldwell, will join Treasure Valley Community College in mid-July as the executive director of its Nursing and Allied Health program.

Mizer is currently working as an adjunct faculty member for Grand Canyon University in Phoenix, Arizona, according to her resume, and in March, finished an 80-page insurance glossary she developed for BlueCross Idaho.

TVCC had been looking to fill the position since the resignation of its previous director in April, which happened nearly simultaneously with three other nursing faculty members.

According to the release, Mizer has worked in a variety of capacities within the medical field as a director, clinical adjunct, senior instructor and staff nurse.

She has a Master of Science in Leadership from Grand Canyon University, a Master of Science in Nursing Education from Northwest Nazarene University and a Doctor of Nursing Practice from Chatham University, states the release.

In addition, Mizer has earned “numerous awards and recognitions over the course of her career and has a strong desire to assist fellow nurses in reaching their educational and career goals.

“We look forward to welcoming her,” it states.

Struggles in the program

Though officials couldn’t comment on the reasons for employees leaving, officials cited faculty vacancies, along with higher accreditation requirements as causal for stress and demands for many nursing programs and instructors statewide.

TVCC has been recruiting to fill one nursing faculty position vacant for more than a year. Officials have previously said finding master’s level nurses to fill these “critical” instruction positions is difficult for com-munity colleges across the nation.

Also cited was private sector nursing pay, which is significantly more than that of college faculty at TVCC under its employee contract. This makes it more difficult to recruit nursing instructors, college officials say.

Despite the struggles, college officials have expressed a strong commitment to see the nursing and allied health program succeed.

In addition to the program being a core offering, TVCC’s accreditation, which was just renewed, requires the program to continue for those students currently enrolled.

Partnerships are being forged to find short- and long-term instructional options. School officials have previously said they are attempting to get a waiver from the state nursing board to enable bachelor-level nurses pursuing a master’s degree to assist in the program. This is not the first time the college has sought such a waiver, in fact successfully obtaining more than one in the past.

College officials are in Portland today to present their plan to the Oregon Board of Nursing to continue TVCC’s nursing program. According to Abby Lee, spokeswoman for the college, the board is expected to review the plan and to make a decision at today’s meeting.

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