ELKO – Nursing and paramedic programs at Great Basin College will be graduating early in response to the coronavirus pandemic, as other hands-on programs adapt to distance learning.
“Great Basin College has been providing for its students and giving back to the communities it serves in rural and frontier Nevada for over 50 years. Now, during this COVID-19 crisis, GBC continues to serve,” stated a press release from the college.
GBC responded to the current situation by moving instruction to online and distance education delivery, and continues to assist students during the campus closures.
Many services typically offered to students face-to-face have been transitioned online, over the phone, and through e-mail. The college’s Career and Technical Education and Health Sciences programs are examples of this.
Dean of Health Sciences and Human Services Amber Donnelli explained how her programs are doing their part to assist the communities GBC services.
“We accelerated the nursing program for our second-year students so they can graduate early in Elko, Pahrump, and Winnemucca. There is a shortage of nurses in rural communities so everyone counts,” Donnelli said.
With the COVID-19 virus impacting the nursing workforce throughout the country it is important to make sure GBC looks at ways to graduate nursing students without delay. These nursing students are working hard with a fast-paced curriculum that will set them up to be successful and go straight into the workforce.
Paramedic students will also be graduating early to help fill the void that Nevada could potentially face with Emergency Medical Services.
“We are so proud of these students as paramedics are typically one of the first health care providers that arrive on to a medical emergency. With COVID-19 they are putting themselves at a higher risk of exposure,” Donnelli continued.
GBC students aren’t the only ones who benefit, the press release continued. In light of the current pandemic and the shortage of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), GBC Health Science programs have responded to the emergency planning and potential shortage of supplies by giving all their PPE to local hospitals and community partners. Great Basin College has already helped Desert View Hospital, Northeastern Nevada Regional Hospital, and the University Police-Southern Command.
The CTE faculty and programs have converted to an online teaching platform as of March 20. Faculty are delivering as much theory as possible for each of the remaining technical courses.
“Some programs were able to get the hands-on components of their course work completed before the campuses were closed to the public. These programs will finish their courses on time and there will be no hands-on makeup time needed,” said Bret Murphy, Dean of Business and Technology.
Other CTE programs, like welding, weren’t able to complete all of the required hands-on skills training and will have make-up sessions once the campus is re-opened. For those students working or having other commitments at the time of re-opening, GBC will accommodate their schedules.
“One good outcome from the closure is faculty are tapping into their creative sides for innovative ways to deliver technical information, and this will likely migrate into all CTE courses in the future,” Murphy commented.
Great Basin College continues to offer Associate and Bachelor level instruction in academic, career, and technical education areas. GBC serves students enrolled online from across the country and on campuses and centers across 86,500 square miles, two time zones, and ten of Nevada’s largest counties.
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