STLCC Now Offers Nursing Program at Wildwood Campus
While things may look a little different on college campuses this fall, one change at St. Louis Community College-Wildwood is poised to make a positive impact on students and the community.
That change is the addition of STLCC’s fully-accredited nursing program, which prepares students to earn both an associate degree and pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN®). This exam is the same national exam that is required by all registered professional nurses (RNs).
This month, STLCC-Wildwood welcomed a full class of 24 students into its new nursing program. Over the next two years, these students will complete their nursing coursework in a newly created state-of-the-art learning lab at the campus as well as at clinical sites across the area.
According to William L. Hubble, Ph.D., district dean of health sciences, STLCC’s decision to bring the nursing program to Wildwood aligns with the College’s overall goal to expand the nursing program 75 percent by 2024.
“We know there is a shortage of RNs in our region, so we want to do our part to help fill this workforce need,” Hubble said. “In addition to opening the nursing program at Wildwood, we’ve taken major steps in recent years to expand the program across the College.”
Among these steps, STLCC opened the Center for Nursing and Health Sciences at Forest Park in 2019. The College also renovated the nursing facilities at Florissant Valley and Meramec to increase capacity in the program.
In May, STLCC awarded nursing degrees to 115 students, which was the largest graduating class in the program’s history. This fall, nearly 500 students are beginning the nursing program districtwide.
“STLCC’s nursing program is highly regarded in our region because of the quality experiences our students receive and the incredible value we offer,” Hubble said. “We look forward to building on this momentum, both at Wildwood and across the College, by providing our students with the training needed to graduate and become an RN.”
At Wildwood, the nursing program is housed on the campus’ third floor. The space spans nearly 3,000 square feet and features a dedicated nursing skills lab with six hospital beds and manikins, a dedicated laboratory with patient simulators, meeting areas, faculty offices and storage.
Along with the facilities investment, the College hired three faculty members and two staff members to lead the program at Wildwood. Deanna Martin, Ph.D., RN, is among this group, serving as an assistant professor and program coordinator.
“Now more than ever, we need nurses to support our health care system,” Martin said. “This is an exciting time for our students, the campus and the College, and we’re ready to begin the important work of preparing our students for a rewarding career as a registered nurse.”
STLCC’s nursing program costs around $19,000. This is approximately 20% of the cost of other similar programs in the St. Louis area. The College also has a number of partnerships with surrounding universities that enable students to seamlessly complete a bachelor's degree in nursing after STLCC.
S. Carol Lupardus, Ph.D., campus president and chief academic officer, shared her enthusiasm for the new program at Wildwood.
“The nursing program expansion at Wildwood has required careful planning and preparation, and we’re delighted to reach this moment where we can celebrate its opening,” said Lupardus. “Two years from now, we’ll have even more to celebrate when we the honor our inaugural class of nursing graduates from Wildwood.”