Umpqua Community College nursing student Casiana Lopez, right, works with nursing clinical instructor Carolyn Crampton during a class.

Umpqua Community College will increase its nursing program from 48 students to 64 students, according to President Debra Thatcher's report, which she will provide to the college's board of directors at its monthly meeting on Wednesday.

According to the report, when the program demonstrates growth while retaining quality and stability, the college will seek national accreditation for the program if there are community partners who will fund an additional position. UCC decided to forego its national accreditation in July 2018 due to budgetary and time constraints.

"UCC is committed to meeting the local workforce needs for nursing," Thatcher said in the report. "Over the past three years, the nursing programs have consistently improved in quality, largely due to the collaborative and tireless work of a student-focused team of faculty, staff and administrators along with the strong work ethic and passion of students and the excellent clinical placements with community partners."

Increasing the capacity of the program was made possible with the help of CHI Mercy Medical Center, which will accommodate the students for their clinical cohorts. The hospital hires 25-30 nursing graduates each year.

UCC is set to hire an additional faculty member for the program in the summer to accommodate the growth in the program.

Thatcher will talk more about the achievements of the nursing program and the plans for growth at the board meeting, starting at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday at the college.

Sanne Godfrey can be reached at sgodfrey@nrtoday.com or 541-957-4203. Follow her on Twitter @sannegodfrey.

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