The Dickson Foundation of Charlotte has awarded Central Piedmont Community College a $500,000 grant to develop a new licensed practical nursing program at the college that will provide students with an accelerated path to a meaningful, family-sustaining career in the healthcare industry and address the employment needs of Charlotte's healthcare sector. Thanks to the Foundation's generous gift, the program will permanently be named the Dickson Licensed Practical Nursing Program at Central Piedmont.
"This gift will provide us with the resources we need to create a quality program," said Dr. Kandi Deitemeyer, president of Central Piedmont. "The funds will not only allow us to provide financial aid to our most in need students, but also enable us to hire full- and part-time faculty, develop challenging course content and purchase program-specific material and equipment that will produce quality graduates prepared to enter the workforce."
Licensed practical nurses serve an important role in the healthcare delivery system, ensuring quality care for patients. They assist physicians and registered nurses in providing critical, essential services, including monitoring patients' vital signs and supervising nursing assistants and collaborating with other members of the healthcare team. Licensed practical nurses are employed in hospitals, nursing homes, rehabilitation centers, private practices, medical offices and with home healthcare agencies.
Central Piedmont's licensed practical nursing program will enable students to earn their professional credential in one year, preparing them for employment more quickly. This is especially important, given the median licensed practical nursing salary is $48,055, which offers a viable economic-mobility pathway for low-income residents in Charlotte-Mecklenburg.
"The Foundation values and appreciates Central Piedmont's important education and career training role in our community," said R. Stuart Dickson, chairman of the board of directors for The Dickson Foundation of Charlotte. "The college is a critical resource in expanding opportunities for the citizens of Mecklenburg County. This grant addresses two of The Dickson Foundation's priorities education and healthcare. We are pleased to partner with Central Piedmont to begin and name this new program."
The Dickson Licensed Practical Nursing Program at Central Piedmont will be based on the college's Central Campus and will focus on patient data collection and subsequent care, safety and hygiene, medications, use of medical records, nursing procedures, applying anatomy and physiology, professional behavior, and healthcare law and policy.
The first cohort of licensed practical nursing students is expected to begin classes in fall 2021 and graduate in summer 2022. Upon completing the program, all of the program's graduates will take the National Council Licensure Examination in Practical Nursing to become a nationally-certified licensed practical nurse. It is anticipated the program will begin with 18 students in its first year and grow to 40 students in the second year.
Central Piedmont will have the option to add students in subsequent years to meet student and workforce demand.
The Dickson Foundation of Charlotte is a longtime supporter of Central Piedmont and of healthcare and education in the Charlotte area. The Foundation's grant will help the college further progress toward its Powering a Stronger Future campaign goal of $40 million.
Individuals interested in learning more about the Dickson Licensed Practical Nursing Program at Central Piedmont can contact Jeanette Cheshire, associate dean of nursing and nurse aid at Central Piedmont, at 704.330.6451 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.