New equipment and future plans for the nursing programs were showcased in a report to the Paris Junior College Board of Regents during a recent virtual meeting.
PJC Director of Nursing Rebbecca Harris reported that the program is expecting grant funding to acquire additional simulation mannequins, allowing for high fidelity testing of students. The next generation of NCLEX testing is slated for 2023, and PJC’s curriculum and simulations will need to teach additional critical thinking and clinical judgment to students.
Harris added that while COVID temporarily interrupted student participation in clinical settings, it has not affected their ability to be successful. Facilities have worked with the program and students are again gaining high-quality clinical experiences.
“They are showing wonderful critical thinking right now,” said Harris. “There’s no need to be worried about the nurses coming out of PJC. They will be very high-quality nurses.”
Adding two high fidelity mannequins will allow testing of both nursing and emergency medical services students for critical thinking and judgment skills without taking 14 days to do so, so they can move on to the next concept, Harris told the regents.
She said a long-term goal is to obtain simulation certification, which could provide additional training opportunities for the community.
The Regents also received a financial report from Controller Cody Helm showing that while revenue is down compared to a year ago, so are expenses. PJC has also received one-time CARES Act funding. “We still have about half of the $1.1 million of institutional funds from the CARES Act,” said PJC President, Dr. Pam Anglin. “It is used to cover COVID expenses when we have to have places deep cleaned and temporary workers to man entry checkpoints, for instance, so it is not coming out of our budget.”
Helm was designated as a TexPool Authorized Representative by the board as well.
The board received an update on COVID numbers at PJC.
“Until yesterday,” Dr. Anglin said, “everyone who had COVID, whether student or employee, had been exposed somewhere off-campus. So, we felt pretty good about the wearing of masks and social distancing. Yesterday we had a dorm student test positive who was only off-campus going to a local store three times last week.”
She said the young man was able to go home and the facilities were deep cleaned while those living on that hallway are in quarantine.
“We’re taking it a day at a time, but with the surge in cases in Lamar County,” said Dr. Anglin, “you can imagine that we’ve seen proportionately the same surge in faculty and staff and the student population. We’re doing everything we can and working to enforce the protocols we have in place.”
The board also learned that the second flex term of eight-week classes starting Wednesday has 441 students enrolled. That is the largest number of students in a second flex term since the College began offering them.
According to the Title IX report required annually, the college received one report of an incident as defined by Texas Education Code §51.252., the board heard. There was no finding of a policy violation.
The board also accepted the employment report with the reassignments of Kelvin Hicks as Upward Bound Coordinator and Tony Yeager as Educational Opportunity Center Advisor in Paris; the employment of Systems and Database Administrator Christopher Eakins effective Nov. 2; the resignation of Upward Bound Coordinator effective Oct. 6; and the retirement of Associate Degree Nursing Instructor Judith Baxley effective Dec. 31.