LPN apprentice partnership first of its kind in Mississippi

Originally posted on WLOX.

HARRISON COUNTY, Miss. (WLOX) – Call them health care pioneers; a class of 20 is the first-ever Licensed Practical Nurse apprenticeship program in the State of Mississippi.

“It literally is the first day of school. I am so excited. I even had the first day jitters. I couldn’t sleep last night,” said Amber Granger, one of the first students in the pilot program between Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College and Singing River Health Systems.

“It is a challenge, and a very rigorous program; however, it is doable. We’ve had more than 100 applicants, so the vetting system is very robust,” said Joan Hendrix, associate vice president of nursing and health professions at MGCCC.

There’ve been many other apprenticeship programs in other fields of study, but this is the first LPN program in Mississippi. It couldn’t come at a better time, with all the nursing shortages in the state and nation.

“It’s going to help us build our pipelines and not only help build our talent but also bring in external talent,” said Jessica Lewis, human resources executive director with Singing River Health System. ”So within 16 months, they’re going to be able to be a licensed nurse here, and be able to fill those nursing gaps that we have.”

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