MOOREFIELD, W.Va. – Eastern West Virginia Community and Technical College has been awarded $278,500 through West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice’s Nursing Workforce Expansion Program, which is designed to address the state’s nursing shortage through a multifaceted approach to attract, train, and retain nurses in the Mountain State. Representing a fundamental part of this approach, an award program was established to fund nursing program expansion projects at colleges, universities, schools of nursing, and career technical education centers across West Virginia.
Through Eastern’s award, the college plans to transform its existing nursing skills lab into an interactive simulation lab and convert a classroom into an updated skills lab. In addition, the funding will facilitate planning for a new LPN-to-RN bridge program. The investment is expected to support up to 10 new nursing students at the institution.
“Eastern is very appreciative of the funding provided by the Governor’s office to increase nursing enrollment in our program, said Dr. Thomas Striplin, president of Eastern. “The funding will allow us to purchase state-of-the-art simulators to enhance training of nurses and help the state increase nursing graduates to address the significant shortage facing the nursing profession.”
The nursing program expansion awards are administered by the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission and Community and Technical College System. Twenty-six funded projects across the state were announced by Gov. Justice on March 17. Approved projects were required to be focused on increasing enrollment in pre-licensure nursing programs through innovative approaches focused on timely degree completion and licensure for graduates.
“We are tremendously grateful to Gov. Justice for providing this historic funding to support the expansion of nursing education programs across West Virginia,” said Dr. Sarah Armstrong Tucker, West Virginia’s Chancellor of Higher Education. “Through these new projects, our postsecondary education community will be better positioned to help shore up West Virginia’s nursing workforce – which, in turn, will help support our nurses working tirelessly on the front lines right now.”
Justice announced the West Virginia Nursing Workforce Expansion Program in December 2021 by dedicating $48 million to support new and expanded initiatives that will train new nurses, fully fund the West Virginia Nursing Scholarship Program, value nurses already practicing in the state, and recruit nurses into West Virginia.