Welcome to Nursing

Welcome to the EPCC Nursing Division where training a variety of nurse to meet our community’s need for well trained nurses is our business. The various nursing programs have a philosophy of mentoring students to success. All students are assigned to a specific faculty member as a mentor in each course. We believe in supporting students to success. If you are good enough to get into one of the nursing programs you are good enough to finish it! You have to think positive and believe in yourself. Keep telling yourself you can do it! If you really want to be a nurse, you can be a nurse!

Location

The RN Program is located in the Health and Science Laboratory Building, right across the street from the original Rio Grande Campus building (A building). The Vocational Nursing Program is located at the Mission del Paso Campus. In addition, we have two High School Vocational Nursing Programs; one is located at Bel Air High School and the other is located at Silva Magnet High School on the Jefferson High School Campus. The Nursing Division offers many opportunities in health care: After completing the first semester of the RN or VN Program students are eligible to apply for Nurse Aid Certification through the Nursing Division office, the completion of one of the programs qualifies a student to take either the Registered Nurse or Vocational Nurse licensing exam.

Border Health Clinic

Also located in the Health and Science Building is our Border Health Clinic, which not only serves our faculty, staff and students, but the entire community as well. This clinic offers a Dental Clinic, Sonography Clinic, Physical Therapy Clinic and a Primary Health Care Clinic which is staffed by a Certified Family Nurse Practitioner and nurses who are part of the nursing faculty. This clinic does not take insurance and operates based on fees for service. The Primary Health Care Clinic offers unique training opportunities for our nursing students as well as other students in various Allied Health programs.

Equipment & Facilities

We have developed a high fidelity and medium fidelity (pertaining to how true to life the manikins are) Simulation Laboratories for Nursing. The High Fidelity lab houses a high fidelity simulation family which includes Sim-Man, Sim-Kid, Sim-NewBe and Noella who can actually give birth to a baby. These high fidelity manikins are computer operated and have the appearance of being live human beings complete with eye movements, chest wall movement, heart sounds, breath sounds, bowel sounds, pulses, and blood pressures which will allow for hands on training with hospital-type equipment. They have the capability of responding appropriately to the treatments that are carried out on them. If the treatments are not correct they will respond with a deteriorating condition. The Medium Fidelity Simulation Lab is set up as a mock Emergency Room and houses adult manikins who have heart, lung, and bowel sounds as well as the various pulses. With these manikins the nursing instructor is able to program what the students are supposed to hear and/or feel when assessing the manikin.

In these labs you will also find many other state-of-the-arts equipment and internet capabilities. We have computerized medication dispensing stations, electronic health records where the simulation scenario nursing documentation is carried out, and both adult and pediatric crash carts from which a “Code Blue” can be managed. In the high fidelity lab there is a nursing station with two live computers, patient charts that match each patient care scenario, and a telephone for communicating with physicians (actually faculty members posing as physicians).

Coursework

All of the nursing courses are now web enhanced and offer the students the opportunity for improved communication with the instructors, availability of assignments, power points, grades, and in some cases testing capabilities. In addition, the nursing programs now have Facebook pages set up for every semester. These allow for communication between faculty members and students as well as for various students within a cohort group. We utilize electronic charting in all courses. We also have online resources through Assessment Technologies Inc. and Course Point through Lippincott. These resources offer multiple mechanism for learning and reviewing course material, practicing what you have learning, and conducting evaluations of your learning. They offer a variety of web based text books, videos, and virtual clinical simulations. Combined they help to prepare students to be successful graduation from the programs and passing their licensing exams.

Tracks

The nursing program at EPCC offers three tracks by which students can graduate with an Associate of Applied Science in Nursing:

  • The Generic or Regular track (where a student begins at the beginning) which is under Specialized Admission requirements. Students are accepted into the program after being competitively ranked. The top 70 RN students are accepted.

  • The LVN to RN Transition Track which is designed for LVNs who want to obtain their Associate of Applied Science in Nursing Degree. This program requires applicants to establish their proficiency at the vocational nursing level in order to be accepted into the program which is two semesters in length. The first semester addresses leveling of student’s nursing knowledge and skills and transitioning from vocational nursing to professional nursing roles. In their second semester transition students complete the last semester of the nursing program which includes courses in complex medical-surgical nursing, nursing leadership/management, and preparation for taking the NCLEX-RN Licensing exam.

  • The Paramedic to RN Track is designed for practicing Paramedics to complete their Associate of Applied Science in Nursing Degree. This track is three semesters long with the first semester providing basic nursing skills and knowledge which are not obtained in paramedic programs as well as transitioning from the paramedic to the professional nursing role. The second semester focuses on obstetric and pediatric nursing with the third (last) semester focusing on complex nursing knowledge and skills, leaderships/management skills, and preparation for the NCLEX-RN Licensing exam.

Students in the RN program also have the option of taking the third semester of the Vocational Nursing Program in the summer after they complete their first and second semesters of the RN program. This prepares the students to take the Licensed Vocational Nursing Exam (NCLEX-VN). When the summer is over these students continue on in the nursing program

Admission

Students who apply for the Vocational Nursing Program (VNP), housed on the Mission Del Paso Campus, also go through a specialized admission process which is referred to as “ranking.” The VNP is three semesters in length requiring 12 months to complete. Approximately 25 students are admitted into the VNP every spring and fall semester. Students who complete this program receive a Vocational Nursing Certificate and are eligible to sit for the NCLEX-VN licensing exam.

Partnerships

All of our nursing programs have partnerships will many of the major hospitals, health care facilities, and patient care clinics in the community. This allows us to offer practical experiences in a variety of health care settings such as: Medical Units, Surgical Units, Obstetrics, Pediatrics, Labor and Delivery, Psychiatric Nursing, Critical Care Units, Telemetry Units, Orthopedic Units, School Nursing, Long Term Care, Rehabilitation, Care of the Elderly, Adult Day Care, and Child Day Care.

Faculty

You cannot find better training anywhere. Our faculty and staff are ready to assist you in your future endeavors. Our faculty comes from a wide variety of backgrounds and nationalities; they have expertise in all areas of nursing. Many of the faculty have been here for over 20 years and are expert instructors; each and every one of them is committed to educating nursing.