Professor Christine Higbie Speaks To Montpelier Hospital Auxiliary About Nursing Program At Northwest State

HPIM1483 WEBChristine Higbie, RN, MSN, nursing professor at Northwest State Community College, spoke about the program to members of CHWC-Montpelier Hospital Auxiliary Monday, March 9th during their noon luncheon meeting. She was introduced by Gloria Poorman, program committee.

Members and guests enjoyed a soup and salad luncheon with desserts, followed by the program and regular meeting. The auxiliary thanks the hospital kitchen staff, Kay Votaw, director, for the delicious soups and those who donated salads and desserts.

Guest speaker Chris who has a master’s degree in nursing gave a brief history of nursing and education and how it has changed over the years. Most people are aware of Florence Nightingale’s actions during the Crimean War which brought nursing to the forefront as a profession for women.

Chris began her 20 year career in nursing as a graduate of Owens Community College and started working at the Bryan Hospital ICU and Montpelier Hospital emergency room. In 2004 she became a fulltime professor at NSCC where the nursing program opened in 1988 with first graduation in 1990. The college offers an LPN (licensed practical nurse) program with one year certificate, and two year associate degree RN (registered nurse) program. NSCC has a 1+2+1 partnership with Defiance College students completing one year at Defiance then transferring to NSCC to complete 2 more years, then transferring back to Defiance College to obtain a four year bachelor’s degree in nursing (BSN).

Currently there are 120 active nursing students, and over 700 students who have declared their major as nursing attending NSCC. Nursing students attend classes for theory and technical training and participate in clinical studies to prepare them for proper patient care and working in team collaboration with physicians and other medical professionals. Nurses must show primary concern for the patient’s well-being, proper treatment and compassion to accomplish this. Computers play an integral part in studies and application.

NSCC has an accredited program with a new state-of-the-art nursing lab and includes a “Hal” mannequin and “Noelle” birthing mannequin as learning tools. Nursing education involves 1050 hours combined in classroom, clinical and lab and added study hours bringing the total to over 5000 hours minimum for students.

Costs continue to increase—a two year degree now costs about $11,000, which makes scholarships very helpful. Approximately 90% of NSCC nursing students pass their nursing license certification testing, while the average for the whole state of Ohio stands at 83%.

Community Hospitals and Wellness Centers (covering the area at Bryan, Montpelier and Archbold) is one of the largest employers of nursing graduates from Northwest State, which has a 100% employment rate into full-time or part-time positions for nursing students upon graduation. The college has nine full-time professors and 20 part-time professors on staff for the nursing program during three semesters annually. NSCC also partners with Defiance College for nursing education.

In 2013 the National Council on Nursing doubled the level of difficulty to pass nursing license certification testing which includes a minimum of 75 questions and may extend to a total of 300 questions (depending on the results of the first 75 questions). The average age of nursing students is 31 and many are aspiring toward a second career.

Nursing students who highly excel in their studies are recognized as members of the Alpha Delta Nu Nursing Honor Society, which Chris Higbie serves as faculty advisor. Nursing graduates no longer participate in a capping ceremony as in the past when they wore starched white uniforms and caps when on duty. Instead, they are honored with a special pinning ceremony when they are presented their official nurse’s certification pin and celebrate their accomplishments.

Following the program, Auxiliary President Joyce Schelling conducted the regular meeting with roll call answered by 18 for “What is your favorite soup and salad?”. Three new members were welcomed—Rick Beck, Cheryle Gallagher and Cindy Zimmerman.

After the secretary’s minutes and treasurer’s report were presented and accepted, various committee reports were heard. Armeda Sawmiller, Deanna Gipe and Gloria Poorman were thanked for helping with setup for the luncheon and decorating tables in St. Patrick‘s Day theme including green carnations in vases. Armeda and Deanna are in charge of patient favors for the month of March.
Nancy Byers, a long-time auxiliary volunteer, was recognized and presented with a special certificate of appreciation for her continued support and donation of various items for the hospital gift shop over many years.

The auxiliary has been asked to assist with registration and canteen for the Red Cross Bloodmobile visit at Montpelier Hospital on Friday, April 3rd from 9 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. Auxiliary members are asked to contact President Joyce at 419-459-4696 as soon as possible to help volunteer for this project. Workers can sign up for morning or afternoon shifts (9:00-10:30 a.m., 10:30-12:00 noon, 12:00-1:30 p.m., 1:30-3:00 p.m., and 3:00-4:00 p.m.). Two volunteers for registration and two volunteers for canteen help are needed for each shift.

Members were reminded to observe and help celebrate Doctor’s Day on March 30th and special flyers were provided by the auxiliary for the hospital bulletin boards. The auxiliary commends and thanks all physicians for their dedication and long hours in service to patients.

The semi-annual Book Fair is scheduled Monday, April 20th in the hospital conference room and volunteers from the auxiliary will also be needed for this. The next regular meeting of the auxiliary will be Monday, April 13th at 1 p.m. in the conference room with guest speaker Jeanne Wise on the second half of life. Guests are always welcome. Roll call will be your favorite Easter weekend activity. National Volunteers Week is April 12-18.


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