Wiregrass Tech Receives Health Care Workforce Grant for Over $400,000

Staff Report

Tuesday, May 23rd, 2023

Wiregrass Georgia Technical College has been awarded a Georgia Board of Health Care Workforce Grant in the amount of $407,000.  This grant will allow the college to increase the number of nurse graduates.  The college announced earlier this year that the Associate of Science in Nursing Program will expand to the Coffee and Ben Hill-Irwin Campuses. The ASN Program will begin on the Coffee Campus in Fall 2023 and will start in Fall 2024 on the Ben Hill-Irwin Campus.  Each cohort will accept 30 students, and students will complete the program in four semesters after program entry. 

This grant will help fund the support of the college’s initiative in expanding the nursing workforce by employing full-time faculty, establishing state-of-the-art laboratory experiences, as well as up-to-date program pedagogy and resources.  The equipment and supply funding will ensure a state-of-the-art nursing laboratory for optimal nursing education with additional ASN faculty.  The NCLEX resources will assist in updating pedagogy in the nursing program, and professional development for NCLEX updates for faculty.

“There is a severe shortage of nurses in South Georgia, and Wiregrass is working closely with our healthcare partners to close this gap. This grant will enable us to expand our ASN program to our rural campus in Ben Hill-Irwin and Coffee campuses allowing prospective students to enroll in an ASN program close to home," shared April McDuffie, Wiregrass Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs. 

The college recently announced the RN program was named the number one program in the state of Georgia according to NursingProcess.org for the second year.  This is based on the student’s performance on the NCLEX pass rate of 100% in 2022.  Wiregrass already offers a traditional ASN program on the Valdosta campus. The Transitions in Nursing Program, or the Bridge Program, which is designed to prepare Licensed Practical Nurses (LPN) and Paramedics as Registered Nurses, is also offered on the Valdosta Campus. 

Both the ASN and the Practical Nursing (LPN) programs are accredited through Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing, Inc (ACEN), and Wiregrass is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).  Wiregrass offers technical college certificates (TCC) and nursing admission processes that assist in addressing the workforce shortage of nurses and certified nursing assistants. 

The college is currently accepting applications for Summer Express term, classes start May 31.  For those looking to enroll for Fall Semester, the college is sponsoring Free Application Week, June 12 – 16.  Those who apply during that week for Fall Semester will have their application fee waived.  Fall Semester starts August 15, 2023.  Interested students can apply in person at the One-Stop Enrollment and Success Center or online at www.wiregrass.edu. Application fees are waived for all Dual Enrollment students.