Forrest Health, PRCC, Forrest County Supervisors Expand LPN to RN Bridge Program
HATTIESBURG, Miss. – (May 4, 2022) The LPN to RN Bridge Program was created a little more than a year ago through a partnership with Forrest Health, Pearl River Community College’s Forrest County campus, and the Forrest County Board of Supervisors is expanding.
The program, which was created to address a nursing shortage in the Greater Pine Belt area, allows a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) to attend PRCC to earn a Registered Nurse (RN) degree. The program’s expansion, which was announced during the May 2 meeting of the Forrest County Board of Supervisors, will allow for 30 RNs and 30 LPNs.
According to PRCC Forrest County Vice President, Jana Causey, the nursing program will expand to include the full range of courses offered as part of the RN program. In order for students to help meet the needs of Forrest General, the college is trying to be flexible for students who have jobs and other obligations so they can join the healthcare industry.
In addition to the option offered for LPNs, PRCC will also offer an option for students who meet the qualifications and enter the RN program. This will provide two options for students – one where they can go directly into the program or they can go through the LPN program and enter the Bridge program. This will be the first time the college has offered the full associate degree nursing program on the Forrest County campus.
The LPN to RN Bridge Program uses students’ education and experience as a starting point and offers in-depth curriculum at an accelerated pace. Under the program, students take classes at the PRCC campus prior to going to work at Forrest General Hospital.
In 2021, Forrest Health made an investment in the program as a means to help with a shortage of nursing professionals in the workforce which was further enhanced by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Forrest Health Vice President, Phyllis Chambers-Berry, believes the expansion of the PRCC program, will provide greater opportunities for those seeking jobs in the nursing field.
“This partnership will continue to allow us to grow the nursing field across the Pine Belt and provide jobs to those medical professionals who have the initiative to care for patients,” said Chambers-Berry. “The opportunity, which allows students the opportunity to earn scholarships, provides great stepping stones and a quick way for students to begin their nursing careers and graduate, so it’s going to mean a lot to this community.”
During the meeting, Supervisor President, David Hogan, thanked both Forrest General Hospital and PRCC for taking key roles in offering the LPN to RN Bridge program.
For more information, visit forresthealth.org.
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