Clatsop Community College graduated 18 nursing students this year and all but one have accepted positions at local facilities, including 7 at Columbia Memorial Hospital (CMH). CMH has been a consistent supporter of CCC’s Nursing Program and for several years has invested in the nursing faculty with a money gift through the CCC Foundation that supports the salary of one full-time nursing instructor to ensure quality education of the graduates.
The money gift of $80,000 from CMH for the 2021-22 academic year was received and recognized by the CCC Foundation and Nursing Program at the college. Doris Jepson, Director of Nursing and Allied Health at CCC stated, “I am very grateful to CMH. Their partnership support is vital to the training of future nurses at Clatsop Community College. Almost all of the 18 recent nursing graduates are working locally to support healthcare in our area. That is a huge achievement and one that CMH has played a key role in accomplishing.”
Support like this from CMH relieves some financial stress for the college in offering expensive programs such as nursing. Oregon State Board of Nursing regulates education programs for registered nursing, and directs nursing programs to maintain a ratio of 1 instructor per 8 students in the clinical setting. Students spend up to 900 hours in the clinical setting during the nursing program and due to this instructor to student ratio, nursing programs are expensive to offer. In order to keep tuition and fees as low as possible, Clatsop Community College is reliant on clinical partners to help offset the cost of offering a nursing program in our community.
CMH provides support beyond financial gifts. The hospital and its Foundation provide a wide range of support, including clinical opportunities for students within its hospital and clinics, and participation on Clatsop CC Advisory Committees.
Local nursing programs are crucial to rural areas like Clatsop County to keep skilled health professionals who want to live and work in our community and further contribute to the economic growth of our area.