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 In a Regional Workforce Survey conducted by LEDA in 2004, healthcare was identified as having the most job vacancies in the South Plains region


Training for Excellence in Nursing in West Texas

South Plains College has completed the three year project Training for Excellence in Nursing in West Texas funded by the Department of Labor’s Community-Based Job Training Grant (CBJTG).

Original Partners in the CBJTG include Covenant School of Nursing, Lubbock Christian University School of Nursing, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center Anita Thigpen Perry School of Nursing; the following High Schools: Denver City, Estacado, Frenship, Levelland, Muleshoe, Plainview; Area Health Education Center of the Plains; South Plains Tech Prep; LEARN Educational Talent Search; WorkForce Solutions/WIA Board; Lubbock Economic Development Alliance; Community Workforce Partnership; Covenant Health System; University Medical Center; Covenant Hospital Plainview; Yoakum County Hospital; Covenant Hospital Levelland; and the Muleshoe Area Hospital District. Partners that joined during the grant include Lubbock Heart Hospital and The CH Foundation.

The goal of the project was to increase South Plains College’s capacity to train, graduate, and place more LVNs and RNs in the workforce. A Center for Clinical Excellence (CCE) was developed and located at a central location on the Reese Campus. The CCE is home to SIMSPC; a simulated hospital with advanced patient simulators. SIMSPC is used as an additional clinical site for the nursing programs. The Clinical Informatics Center (CIC) is also located at the CCE. It offers twenty computers and five Virtual IVs for student use.

The Nursing Success Coordinator (NSC) has developed a retention program that involves screening students during orientation to identify students that are at high-risk for not being successful in nursing school. These students are counseled and referred to the appropriate resources at the beginning of school. They are also followed throughout the program. Faculty members refer students that are at risk of failing and students may also self-refer to the NSC. The NSC travels to all SPC campuses in order to accommodate student needs.

The CBJT Grant Project was a success as evidenced by the following:

  •  An increase in overall enrollment to 822 nursing students 
  • Increased Hispanic student enrollment in all programs combined to 37.63%
  • A total of 334 students have graduated during the grant period. A total of 273 students are still in progress towards graduation.
  • The completion of VN students increased from 58% to 74% for the quarter ending December 2010
  • The completion of ADN students increased from 63% to 76% for the quarter ending December 2010
  • The number of graduates that notified us they were employed after graduation is 272.\
  • The NCLEX pass rate for the ADN program increased from 88% in 2008 to 96% in 2010
  • The NCLEX pass rate for the VN-Levelland program increased from 88% in 2008 to 100% in 2010.
  • The NCLEX pass rate for the VN-Reese program increased from 98% in 2008 to 100% in 2010.
  • The NCLEX pass rate for the VN-Plainview program increased from 96% in 2008 to 100% in 2010.


SPC’s retention rate was not as high as we had originally proposed but we are continually seeking new retention strategies to improve it. The Nursing Success Coordinator applied for and received a Nursing Innovation Grant Program(NIGP) grant from the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board in the amount of $90,000. The grant project is “At-risk Student Retention and Intervention Project”. It is a two year grant specifically aimed at improving retention rates for Texas nursing students. During the CBJTG, one of the biggest obstacles we faced was finding nursing tutors on a contract basis. The Nursing Innovation Grant will allow SPC to hire a part-time RN to serve as tutor. We believe that this was a valuable asset that we were unable to acquire during the CBJT Grant. The NIGP grant begins June 1, 2011.