50 Years of Nursing
Since 1972 the college has offered a nursing program, which is open to applicants once a year. This two-year program requires an additional rather intense set of prerequisite courses before one is able to apply for admissions, however. This leaves graduating students with an associates degree after three to four years of schooling.
With a limited number of students accepted, applications must stand out from the competition.
Students come from all backgrounds but all seek a career in care. Most of the students interviewed had children; these natural care providers from experience are now seeking a professional environment.
There is a national shortage of registered nurses so the demand is high.
“A professional RN works with healthcare providers and patients in a variety of settings. Our graduates are in so many healthcare settings; all three acute care hospitals in the area employ our graduates as well as many other facilities in the state and other states as well,” said the Director of LBCC’s Nursing Program Bonnie Larsen.
Students acquire clinical experience from instructors such as Heather Peacock, who leads her students at Albany Samaritan Hospital.
Peacock has an Associate Degree from LBCC, then went on to her Bachelor’s Degree and now has a Master’s Degree. She is currently working towards her doctorate in nursing.
Peacock said she loves learning to further her education, which opens more doors for her career to grow. She fell into her dream job – teaching and molding the student nurses at a pliable stage. She said she feels like a mama duck, guiding them in the correct way to do things, which keeps the medical field safe in a structured way. She also works in labor delivery. After networking with faculty colleagues, she happened to give teaching a try and found her passion.
She said she feels “like a mama duck, guiding them in the correct way to do things,” which keeps the medical field safe in a structured way. Peacock also works in labor delivery. After networking with faculty colleagues, she happened to give teaching a try and found her passion.
Peacock adores learning and reading, riding her exercise machine Peloton, being with her two young children, riding horses, and anything outdoors. She has four horses, four cats, two dogs, 10 chickens on 22 acres. She has been a nurse for 10 years.
“You should surround yourself with inspirational people because you are only as stagnant as the weeds around you,” Peacock said.
“Because of COVID many classes are now online and it gives flexibility but lacks the bond of classmates,” she said. In clinical studies each student has one 12-hour session a week in either Lebanon, Albany or Corvallis, where they do rounds or observe surgical operations.
For students with ambitions to achieve their master’s and doctorate, Linfield College in McMinnville and Bushnell University in Eugene have an articulation agreement with LBCC.
Registered nurses can expect to begin at $39 per hour and with specialties such as midwife, anesthetist, and general nurse practitioner, the wage can increase significantly.
‘With the versatility of nursing, there are a multitude of places to go during a career. Nursing isn’t for everyone – future nurses must like the unexpected, to be on their toes, and be able to think critically,” said student Victoria Larsen.
Students in training find little time for anything else, dedicating most of their time to intensive learning. By graduation, new nurses find a rewarding career and enter them prepared because of the education received at LBCC.