EMCC reinstating LPN program on Scooba campus


SCOOBA — East Mis­sissippi Community Col­lege’s Licensed Practical Nursing program is re­turning to the Scooba campus after a 19-year hiatus.

“Unfortunately, due to the pandemic there is a nursing shortage in that area,” EMCC Division of Nursing and Allied Health Director and Dean of Health Sciences Dr. Tonsha Emerson said. “We’ve had com­munity members and healthcare facility repre­sentatives express the need for a Practical Nursing program on the Scooba campus.”

Classes for the LPN program at Scooba begin Jan. 10. The dead­line to apply is Dec. 3. Fifteen students will be accepted into the initial class. Students who suc­cessfully complete the one-year course will graduate in December. In the program, students are prepared to practice under the supervision of a registered nurse, a physician or a licensed dentist.

Emerson, who was hired by EMCC in 2001, had been working for the college for about a year when the LPN program on the Scooba cam­pus closed in 2002. A lot has changed since that time.

As early as 2012, medical journals began reporting a growing need for additional nurses to treat an aging baby boomer population with in­creased medical needs to in­clude, in some cases, around-the clock medical care. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, more than 65,000 additional LPNs will be needed in the U.S. by 2029.

Emerson said when her divi­sion conducted a needs as­sessment to determine if the LPN program should be rein­stated at the Scooba campus, they received affirmation from the John C. Stennis Memorial Hospital in DeKalb and the Noxubee Medical Complex in Macon, as well as from Kem­per County High School and the John C. Stennis Vocational Complex.

“We also we received letters of support from the Missis­sippi LPN Association ex­pressing the need for LPNs in that particular area, as well as in the state,” Emerson said.

Classes will be taught out of Hawkins Hall where the pro­gram will have its own dedi­cated classroom space, instructors’ offices and a lab that meets state accreditation requirements. Two instructors have been hired to teach the course.

They are, Linda Farmer, a nurse practitioner from Merid­ian who has more than four decades experience in the nursing field, and Chiquita Jones of Philadelphia, who earned her LPN certification at EMCC before completing a Bachelor of Science in Nursing at the University of Southern Mississippi.

“I am excited to join the EMCC staff and look forward to this new opportunity,” Jones said.

Farmer said she wants stu­dents to be proud of what they have accomplished once they complete the LPN pro­gram.

“I want each student to know they are equipped to go out and do what they were trained to do,” Farmer said. “I also want to encourage them to continue their education and go even higher if that is what they want to do.”

EMCC also offers Licensed Practical Nursing, Associate Degree Nursing, Surgical Technology and Emergency Medical Technician programs of study on the college’s Golden Triangle campus. The one thing that Scooba has that the Golden Triangle cam­pus does not is residential housing.

EMCC Dean of Students for the Scooba Campus Tony Montgomery said there are dorm rooms available for both men and women, but recom­mended those who wish to stay on campus act quickly.

He said to qualify, students must apply to EMCC and fill out a housing application found online under the “Ad­missions” and “Apply Now” tabs at www.eastms.edu. They will also need to pay a $100 housing application fee and submit a class schedule to prove they have been ac­cepted into the college.

“Once they have done all of that we can plug them into a room,” Montgomery said.

For more information about the LPN program on the Scooba campus, including how to apply, call Division of Nursing and Allied Health Of­fice Manager Kim Calvert at 662.243.1910. Information about the program, including an admission packet, is also available online atwww.eastms.edu. Click on the “Programs” tab, then “Di­vision of Nursing & Allied Health” and “Practical Nurs­ing.”

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