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Frontline focus: Students say technology center’s nursing program equips them for field

Written by Sharla Bardin for 19th St. Magazine, March 2021

Nursing is a family tradition for Danielle Holmes. Her grandmother and mother chose that career field and Holmes will soon follow. The Oklahoma City resident is a student in the practical nursing program at Moore Norman Technology Center.

Holmes said the program has provided her with extensive knowledge and terrific support from instructors and peers and has reinforced her desire to become a nurse, especially given the need for nurses during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It’s motivating and it makes me want to get out there and help as many people as I can,” she said.

Others share the sentiment.

Wendy Perry, the center’s director of health careers, said there has been heightened interest in the center’s health programs.

“We’ve seen an increase in applications,” Perry said. “Students are wanting to help.”

The center provides a variety of classes that can accommodate students’ needs and schedules, including short-term and long-term programs. Individuals also can finish programs at an accelerated rate and enter the workforce at a quicker pace than a traditional college setting. For example, the long-term programs generally take 10 to 15 months to complete, Perry said.

Practical nursing is one of the options available in the long-term programs and others include dental assisting, medical assisting, physical therapy aide, pre-nursing, surgical technology, veterinary assisting, nurse aide, biomedical and diagnostic medical sonography.

Justin Smith, of Norman, is a student in the practical nursing program and said he enrolled because he wants to work more with patient care. He now works in a surgery department as a central core tech where his duties include getting supplies and instruments ready for operations.

Smith said he chose the center after hearing positive comments from others who completed the program.

“One of the other things I was impressed with was their excellent pass rating. This just showed the value they put towards their students’ education,” Smith said, in an email response.

The technology center has a 96 percent pass rate for the National Council Licensure Examination for practical nursing, which is the exam students must pass to become licensed as a practical nurse in Oklahoma, Perry said.

Smith said another highlight of the program are the clinical experiences.

“The clinicals are my favorite part because we get to apply the knowledge we have learned to real-life situations.”

Smith also said he believes the center “is there to see individuals succeed, and they set you on the right track to do so.”

Holmes said some of the reasons she chose the center are because of the in-depth training, the affordability and the convenient location.

Holmes said she values the knowledge she’s gained, the teamwork among the students and the instructors who care and take the time to help students fully understand the subjects and skills.

She graduates in June and takes her licensure exam to become a Licensed Practical Nurse. Her next step is to attend Oklahoma City Community College to work toward becoming a Registered Nurse.

Holmes said the training she’s received at the technology center has helped equip and motivate her as she prepares to help others during the pandemic and beyond.

“It’s opened my eyes and showed me that nursing is really what I want to do,” she said. “Nursing is truly my passion.”

For more information about the center’s health programs, visit www.mntc.edu.

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