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Bronze for Chemeketa’s Nursing Program

According to the website registerednurse.org, Chemeketa’s nursing program is the third best in the state. Due to its heavy competition, they only take about 40-48 people annually. This year, 224 people applied for the program. Even more sent in unfinished applications.

What makes the program so good? How do you improve your chances of being selected? And what happens when you’re done?

Sandi Kellogg, who’s the head of the nursing program, shared her opinion of what she thinks makes Chemeketa’s nursing program so impressive.

“I think ours is good because administration supports us in the number of staff and faculty that we need to have to teach the program and the diversity of that faculty,” Kellogg said. “When I talk about diversity I mean not about ethnic or cultural diversity but it’s about diversity of work experience, everybody has a different specialty and that helps lend to the richness of what we could bring to the student.”

Still, the program does suffer from a lack of faculty, which Kellogg said is the reason spots are limited.

“This year we’re in the middle of trying to hire on a couple of faculty and if we do get those people then we’ll be able to take 48, but if for some reason they decide not to come and work for us then we’ll have to take 40,” Kellogg said.

How does a person secure one of these spots?

According to Kellogg, preparing to get into the program starts at the middle and high school level. She said it’s important to have a strong math and science background.

“A lot of students are weaker on those sides and it’s a lot of work to catch up on, so it really helps you to have a solid foundation, so you don’t have to retake classes,” said Kellogg.

When students graduate from the nursing program, they graduate with an associate’s degree, which means they can start working immediately. But students are pushed to go for the master’s degree so they can teach the content to future nurses. After graduation, students don’t have to worry about finding a job.

“We can help with job placement but we haven’t had to, they have them,” said Kellogg. “If they don’t have them the day of graduation then they have them within a couple weeks or a month at the most. They can go work anywhere in the United States, and we’ve had students do that as
well.”

After completing the nursing program at Chemeketa students can apply for a four year university. That is not always a possibility after graduating from a community college.

It takes a lot of hard work to complete. Quitting once you’re in isn’t an option. But, if it is your dream then it’s all going to be worth it.

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