Diane Fairchild, MSN, RN had a recent conversation with a former graduate.
A smile crossed her face as the graduate related heartfelt thanks for the learning opportunities he had received at Western Oklahoma State College.
And by the time the school’s nursing program director finished the conversation, she had a volunteer for IV skills lab day walking down the hall to meet with their former instructor.
“He wanted to be a part of that because he felt like he had received an excellent education here and he loved nursing and wanted to give back to the students by letting them stick his arm,” Fairchild said. “He appreciated the relationship that he had developed with his instructors and they were so caring and kind to him that he just wanted to give back.”
“It’s a wonderful feeling, very fulfilling.”
It’s stories like these that keep Fairchild and her faculty going.
Western Oklahoma State has one of the only ADN programs in southwest Oklahoma and has three campuses.
Established as Altus Junior College in 1926, it is the oldest original municipal two-year college still in existence in Oklahoma.
The Nursing Program at Western Oklahoma State College was established in 1981 and has an outstanding success rate for preparing qualified nurses.
The WOSC nursing program is offered at three campus sites: Altus, Lawton, and Elk City. Western’s ADN program has several program tracks.
Face-to-face classes for both general and advanced standing entry students are available as well as online classes with a face-to-face clinical component for advanced standing students. Students in the face-to-face track are able to take daytime classes at all three campuses.
“One of our major goals is to meet the needs of Altus and the surrounding areas by having a high-quality nursing program and having nurses go into our communities and stay and help with the nursing needs of the people in that community,” Fairchild said.
One of the school’s most popular programs is the online LPN-to-RN track.
“We even have students coming from Texas and Oklahoma City,” she said. “With this program and testing you can complete the program in one year and still be able to work as an LPN while you are completing the program.”
NCLEX pass rates for the LPN to RN have exceeded the national average for the past two years.
“I feel like we have excellent support with our clinical sites, the different hospitals in the area that allow us to do clinicals there,” Fairchild said. “We have excellent clinical adjunct instructors that provide very good clinical teaching to our students where they can really build on their bedside skills and bedside interaction with patients. They really build upon their ability to care and give compassion to patients.”
Fairchild said oftentimes clinical instructors are employed at the facilities where clinicals occur which only adds to the learning experience.
“They know what they need and are able to teach that to the students. A lot of our hospitals do nurse intern programs during the summer and it’s very beneficial to the student and it’s beneficial to the school because they’re continuing their education through work in the summer,” Fairchild said. “The students are getting to know the nurses there and developing relationships and when they graduate and become nurses a lot of times they are hired in those facilities and help with the nursing shortage.”
Springtime is always an exciting time for healthcare facilities in and around campus.
“I know they say it’s very difficult to find RNs to come to southwest Oklahoma so they’re always thankful when it comes to graduation time and they know some of those RNs are going to be able to stay in that area,” Fairchild said.
And some even come back to their alma mater to pay it forward. Visit http://www.wosc.edu/nursing for more information.