State approves community college's nursing program

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Colorado Northwestern Community College's nursing program won approval last week from a key state body.

The recognition from the Colorado Board of Nursing comes as a deadline looms Friday to apply for an inaugural fall practical nursing program led by former Northwest Colorado Visiting Nurse Association community care director Marilyn Bouldin.

Course approvals were granted on a temporary basis until a first crop of nurses graduate from the two-year program. In addition to approving entry level nursing programs, the state's nursing board also licenses registered nurses, practical nurses, psychiatric technicians and certified nurse aides, according to the agency's web site.

"It's significant and allows us to move forward with our plans for the fall," Bouldin said of the state's approval. "We've had to assure them we can meet certain criteria for items such as admissions and facilities."

Quarterly progress reports on the program will be sent to the nursing board, Bouldin said.

Applications, meanwhile, for the fall semester nursing program must be returned to CNCC by 5 p.m. Friday.

Bouldin couldn't say how many applications have been received.

"There are a number of people waiting to the last minute to turn them in," she said.

Some 62 people attended informational meetings on the program last month in Craig, Steamboat Springs, Rangely, Meeker and Oak Creek. One hundred applications were distributed to interested nursing candidates, Bouldin said.

"Craig had the biggest meeting with 29 people."

Bouldin said prospective nursing students from Denver to Boulder have already applied to the program. One application was received from a Wisconsin student.

"Some reasons for applying here are personal," Bouldin said. "Some realize that the waiting lists at Front Range schools can be up to two-and-a-half years, and they don't want to wait that long."

Paul Shockley can be reached at 824-7031 or at pshockley@craigdailypress.com

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