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Western Colorado Community College nurse aide programs receive sanctioning from State Board of Nursing

Western Colorado – Colorado Mesa University President Tim Foster announced the Montrose County School District and School District 51 concurrent enrollment nurse aide programs received approval from the State Board of Nursing. The announcement represents the latest work force training milestone for Western Colorado Community College, a division of CMU. 

“The additional sanctioning of the nurse aide program in Montrose is a huge benefit to high school students in Montrose and the region’s health care community,” said Foster. “We look forward to preparing the next generation of providers and contributing to health care excellence and nursing services here in western Colorado.” 

On January 23, 2019 the Colorado Department of Regulatory agencies informed WCCC that the Montrose program had received approval and sanctioning. The news was welcomed from the program administer and CMU Montrose Campus Director Gary Ratcliff, Ph.D. 

“We launched the program so that high school students interested in the nursing field could get an early jump on their college educations,” said Ratcliff. “Nurse aide was our most popular enrollment program and in 2018 we had 23 students participating from Montrose County high schools.” 

The same program administered at the WCCC Grand Junction campus is for both high school students and adults and also received state board reaffirmation. The Grand Junction program enrolled 50 students from Mesa County School District 51 in 2018. 

WCCC Vice President of Community College Affairs, Brigitte Sundermann believes the Montrose and Grand Junction programs prepare high school students for employment in long-term health care facilities, hospitals, skilled nursing facilities, home health care, assisted living, hospice and other health care related professions. 

“Students who complete the courses receive the necessary knowledge, skills and abilities to perform as a competent nurse aide and prepare to test in the National Nurse Aide Assessment Program to be certified," said Sundermann. 

The regulatory validations are a part of a larger effort at CMU to create expanded learning around health care. CMU offers The Master of Physician Assistant Studies as well as other advanced health care degrees, including the Master of Science in Athletic Training and the Doctor of Occupational Therapy. WCCC offers complementary programs like nurse aide and medical assisting that offer the local health care community a top-to-bottom skill-ready workforce in western Colorado. 

“CMU and WCCC have really created an eco-system of health care training that matches the needs of local health care providers. From health clubs and rehabilitation centers to clinics and hospitals, WCCC and CMU students will be the future providers of health care in a community that has historically experienced shortages in many related fields,” said Foster. 

Students interested in applying to the programs are encouraged to visit coloradomesa.edu/wccc

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