On June 2, the Missouri State Board of Nursing gave the Crowder College Cassville Center initial approval to offer an associate degree in nursing program.
"We will have our site visit with the State Board of Nursing on Dec. 16," said Angela Seymour, Crowder College Cassville Center director. "At that time, we will need to prove that our classroom is ready, and that we have the staff that we need. If we receive approval, we will be able to start classes in January of 2010."
The new Crowder College Cassville Center, which has been constructed on Business 37 north of Cassville, will offer a new nursing skills laboratory.
"The skills lab will look like a hospital room," said Seymour. "It will have a divider screen, IV poles, a gurney, a wall mount oxygen system and anything else that you would normally see in a hospital room."
The Cassville Center has already received two nursing beds for the nursing skills lab. Students enrolled in the program will also work with an electronic simulation patient, which Crowder College purchased using money from a Department of Labor grant.
"Crowder College in Neosho received an entire sim family," said Seymour. "The family members will be rotated among campuses as needed. We will receive the man, 'Hal,' at first."
The nursing program instructor will be able to use a computer to program Hal with a variety of symptoms that students will learn to treat. The simulation patient will speak and have a heart rate and other vital signs.
The Crowder College Cassville Center continues to look for used equipment that will complete the nursing skills laboratory. Needed items include manual and electric blood pressure cups, walkers, wheel chairs, a mannequin, hazard waste containers, bedding and a variety of other items.
"We can use used items," said Seymour. "This equipment will not be used on real patients, so it doesn't have to be perfect. We just need equipment that the students can learn with."
Several local businesses have contributed equipment for the nursing program already. Those businesses include: the Barry County Health Department; Red Rose Rehab; St. John's Hospital-Cassville; and Cox.
In March of 2008, Crowder College received a $1.4 million U.S. Department of Labor's Employment and Training Division grant, which has been used to help implement the new nursing program at Cassville.
If the Cassville Center receives final approval to offer the associate degree in nursing, 25 students will be admitted to the new program during the spring semester of 2010.