HANCEVILLE, Ala. — Nursing students at Wallace State Community College in Hanceville have been taking advantage of a new apprenticeship opportunity that allows them to earn a salary while training for a career in health care. The college launched the program this year with the Alabama Office of Apprenticeship and six employee partners.
The six employer partners currently are Barfield Healthcare/Rehab Select, Huntsville Hospital, Marshall Medical Centers, Marshall Manor Nursing and Rehab, Riverview Regional Medical Center and South Hampton Nursing and Rehab.
Around a dozen Wallace State Nursing students are taking part in the apprenticeship program. Students are eligible for the program after completing their first semester of nursing classes. The apprenticeship adds no time to the student’s program requirements and allows them to be paid while completing their clinical rotations.
“The Department of Nursing Education is excited to offer another option to support nursing students in fulfilling their dreams of a nursing career,” said Department Chair Deborah “Pepper” Hoover. “The apprentices have an opportunity to become acquainted with one employer in a unique relationship. This is the first time that students have been financially compensated while doing clinical hours.”
“The opportunity to have a nurse apprentice permit…this is the first in the nation,” said Megan Smith of the Alabama Office of Apprenticeship. “We’re the only state in the nation who has that piece. And that permit allows you to continue what you’ve learned in school and clinicals while you’re at work. You can get paid for your clinical hours and for your work hours.”
“If employers didn’t buy in on this we wouldn’t be here,” said Michael Bridier of the Alabama Office of Apprenticeship. “Every time that you see an apprenticeship program in the nation, it’s led by the employers, so a big thanks to you.”
“We are excited to launch the nursing apprenticeship program,” said Jessica McClendon of Marshall Medical Centers. “We’re happy to partner with Wallace on this. We will pay for anything a student’s scholarships and grants don’t pay for, so all their expenses will be covered while they’re in nursing school.”
Wallace State Nursing offers multiple pathways for students seeking a career in nursing. Its traditional pathway offers a practical nursing certificate at the completion of the first three semesters and an associate degree in nursing at the completion of the final two semesters. The program also offers a joint enrollment program with UAB School of Nursing that allows students to concurrently pursue both an associate degree from WSCC and a bachelor’s degree from UAB. Mobility options are available in both the traditional and joint enrollment pathways for certain credentialed health care professionals who wish to become a nurse.
Applications for the Fall 2023 semester will be accepted from March 15 through May 15. Visit www.wallacestate.edu/nursing for more information.
Wallace State Nursing has twice been designated as Center of Excellence in Nursing Education by the National League for Nursing.
For more information about the Nursing Apprenticeship program and others at Wallace State, contact Christina Holmes at 256-352-8120 or firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.wallacestate.edu/careerdevelopment/students.