Sentara Community Impact: Blue Ridge Community College Educational Foundation
HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) - Blue Ridge Community College (BRCC) is trying to answer the call to help fill the need for more healthcare workers in our area and across the country.
“In order to prepare the workforce for that very challenging range of careers in healthcare, we need to make sure that our program is state of the art,” BRCC president, Dr. John Downey explained.
School leaders say nursing students are given training in life-like simulations to make sure they are ready to safely and successfully treat patients. To ensure the school has access to state-of-the-art equipment for this training, the Blue Ridge Community College Educational Foundation was awarded a $100,000 grant from Sentara Cares.
“This funding makes a huge difference in terms of allowing our program to continue to get the type of equipment and faculty we need to make the program state of the art,” Dr. Downey said.
He says half the money will support second-year nursing students.
“It is going to be critical in helping not only helping students change their own lives for the better but then helping the community. Blue Ridge is about helping individual students change their lives and make a better a better life for themselves but also making sure that local businesses are able to thrive,” Dr. Downey said.
The other half of the grant will support the paramedic-EMT program and other certifications in the healthcare industry.
“We are trying to work with them to address all of the needs at all levels of employment in the hospital,” Dr. Downey added.
Dr. John Downey says half the nurses in our region get their start at Blue Ridge.
“We are going to continue to try to expand our program as space and time permits. The hospitals have been generous to us in terms of clinical time. I’m just excited about the future to make sure most people know there is a pathway through Blue Ridge Community College to wherever they want to go.”
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