It may have been a temporary training program, but it will have a lasting impact on its graduates.
A final pinning ceremony was held this month at Portland Community College’s Cascade Campus where the last cohort of students in an emergency nursing “teach-out” program graduated with two-year associate degrees as registered nurses.
Thanks to emergency funding by Higher Education Coordinating Commission (HECC), the Oregon legislature and resources from PCC, the temporary program was established in 2016 to support nursing-degree completion for former students of ITT Technical Institute, which abruptly closed its doors. To ensure these students had an avenue to completion, PCC developed the curriculum quickly so that the state’s healthcare industry would not lose out on these qualified nursing students.
Of the 140 displaced students who enrolled in the PCC program, 133 students (95 percent) graduated. At the commencement, the final cohort of 22 freshly minted RNs received their pins in front of hundreds of family, friends and faculty. They were the final cohort to finish the program, effectively ending the teach out.