WWCC Nursing program earns top honors within the state

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Carly Eversole, [email protected]

Sweetwater County, Wyoming – Western Wyoming Community College’s nursing program has recently earned 2 accolades making them one of the top programs in the State of Wyoming.

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Nursingprocess.org is an online guide that accumulates data state by state in regard to institutions offering healthcare education, streamlining all the information and ranking schools based on their findings. This institution awarded WWCC the number 1 school in Wyoming. According to the website, Western Wyoming Community College is an award-winning institution that offers an enriching academic experience all at a very affordable cost. Here, education goes beyond the classroom, as you can participate in the college’s Student Nurses Association and gain real-world exposure.

The second and most recent award comes from registerednursing.org, where WWCC comes in at an impressive 2nd place behind Central Wyoming Community College and ahead of Northern Wyoming Community College in Gillette. This website bases its data on pass rates by each school. Of the 9 colleges in Wyoming that were assessed using their methodology, only 3 were nationally ranked. Western boasts an impressive 90.6% pass rate for the year 2022.

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Director of Nursing & School of Health Science Chair Heidi Brown stated, “It’s a pretty big deal to have won these, it’s an honor. We know what the other programs are doing and they are all solid programs so to be ranked first and second among them is pretty cool. We have a state-wide curriculum and the same student learning outcomes, we all do our curriculums a little bit different but we all have the same goal in educating nurses. We are up against some really good programs in our state.”

Western’s nursing program is able to set itself apart from other programs because “We are innovative. Our program is very up-to-date, we are integrated, concept base and continually staying with what’s going on in healthcare. The way we teach is through active learning and group work. We don’t lecture we guide students so they can learn to make big decisions. We call it clinical decision making, in every unit that we teach we have some kind of clinical experience that reinforces what they’re learning in the classroom reducing that theory-to-practice gap,” explained Brown. “We also have a huge service area, ours is larger than anywhere else in Wyoming.”

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Even with recent drops in enrollment at colleges across the nation including Western, the nursing program remains highly competitive seeing a drop in hopeful students, but not at a devastating level. This could be in part due to Covid and the change in the healthcare climate the pandemic brought on.

Brown stressed for future nursing candidates “to have students prepare earlier with the courses they need to get into the program. Especially math and biology classes, the sooner those are taken care of the sooner they can get into the program. Also, the vaccine requirements to get into the program which is a sore subject but we want our students to be protected from all the things they could come into contact with.” Brown emphasized that post-graduation “our students are ready to go to work and our employers are highly satisfied with our students that go to work for them.”

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