WCC nursing students Maryann VanDaele and Adam Robichaud work on drawing blood from an arterial practice arm at the Sept. 2015 Free College Day event. Photo by Steve Kuzma

WCC nursing students Maryann VanDaele and Adam Robichaud work on drawing blood from an arterial practice arm at the Sept. 2015 Free College Day event. Photo by Steve Kuzma

The 2015-2016 academic year is a special time for Washtenaw Community College’s nursing program.

The nursing department celebrates its 40th anniversary and it also will receive a reaccreditation site visit on Feb. 9-11 from the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN).

The nursing program has been accredited since 1996 with its last visit in 2008.

To be reaccredited, WCC’s nursing department must meet all of ACEN’s standards and criteria. During the three-day visit, ACEN will meet with WCC’s nursing faculty and students, visit clinical sites on campus, and observe some of the nursing courses as part of its evaluation. In July, WCC’s nursing department will learn whether it has been reaccredited.

Additionally, the public is invited to meet the site ACEN team and share their comments regarding WCC’s nursing program at a Public Comments meeting on February 10 from 2:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. in the Morris Lawrence building, room 103 / 203.

According to Gloria Velarde, longtime nursing faculty member, the WCC Board of
Trustees approved the transfer of the local occupational program for training licensed practical nurses from the Ann Arbor Public Schools system to WCC in 1974.

She added that what began as a Practical Nurse Program in 1975 evolved to an Associate Degree Nurse (ADN) program in 1981 – allowing for an ongoing career progression from a Licensed Practical Nurse to a higher-level position as a Registered Nurse. Ten years later, the ADN program became the current Associate in Applied Science: Registered Nursing program.

“We’ve gone through lots of changes over the decades, but our mission has always
stayed the same,” Velarde said. “WCC’s nursing program is well respected within the community. Local hospitals prefer our graduates compared to some of the other schools and that says a lot about the caliber of our students and the quality of instruction from our faculty.

“The evolution of the nursing program was and remains driven by the needs of the community.”

By Princess Gabbara

Writer, Public Relations