Nursing program welcomes new students at orientation; launches new concept-based curriculum

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HANCEVILLE – Around 150 students were welcomed to Wallace State Community College this week during their first orientation session in the WSCC Nursing program. The students will start classes in the fall in the Practical Nursing (PN) program or Associate Degree Nursing (ADN) program for registered nursing. A small contingent of the latter group come into the program having previously earned a practical nursing degree and will use those credits to advance to the ADN program.

All of the new nursing students enrolled in Fall 2016 will be the first to participate in a new concept-based statewide curriculum, which allows them to be admitted into one nursing program and be eligible to earn a practical nursing certificate and apply for licensure as an LPN after three semesters and continue to an associate degree and apply for licensure as an RN at the end of the fifth semester.

“The new curriculum incorporates the latest health care standards, nursing competencies and encourages a more global perspective of dealing with patients with similar issues, like oxygenation instead of isolated medical treatment of diseases,” said Deborah Hoover, director of the Wallace State Nursing program. “It will theoretically better prepare a graduate to holistically care for the patient without such focus on the details of each medical disease. The concept-based curriculum design is being embraced as a great new nursing education strategy by many nursing programs around the country.”

The orientation provided students with an outline of tasks they need to complete in advance of starting classes and information, tips and encouragement from faculty. They were also able to start purchasing supplies such as stethoscopes, scrubs and other paraphernalia.

Hoover welcomed the students, went over instructions and reminded them of the importance of meeting deadlines. She also encouraged the students not to hesitate to seek out help from faculty and staff should the need arise either academically, financially or in other ways in which they might assist the students as they make their way through the program. Success coaching is available through the college.

Elieria Lane of Birmingham is entering the ADN program at Wallace State. She previously earned a degree as a medical assistant at another institution and decided to advance her career by obtaining her nursing degree at Wallace State. “Wallace State was my first choice,” said Lane, whose mother is also a nurse. Her long-term goal is to become a nurse practitioner and to be a traveling nurse.

Tamarion Davis of Huntsville has a similar goal in wanting to eventually become a nurse practitioner. To that end, she is enrolled in the ADN program and has a head start in that she’s already a licensed practical nurse. She enrolled at WSCC through its mobility program, which allows students who’ve earned their practical nursing degree to apply those credits toward their ADN program requirements.

Deadlines have passed for entry into the WSCC Nursing programs for Fall 2016, but now is the time to apply for spring admission. Applications for Spring 2017 will be accepted for the ADN program from July 1 through Sep. 1, 2016.

The Fall 2016 term begins on Aug. 17, and registration is currently underway. For program information, courses listings and enrollment information, visit or call 256-352-8000 for more information.