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TJC, JEDCO, hospitals join to form nursing program in Jacksonville

The Jacksonville Economic Development Corporation (JEDCO), Trinity Mother Frances Hospitals and Clinics and East Texas Medical Center Regional Healthcare System have announced an agreement to provide funding and a home for a Jacksonville nursing instruction facility, to be operated by Tyler Junior College.

The partnership among the four entities will allow TJC to begin providing instruction for students wishing to become registered nurses, licensed vocational nurses or enter other health-related careers.

“This partnership is a monumental accomplishment for TJC, the city of Jacksonville and Cherokee County. It will mean that Jacksonville will be the training ground for approximately 40 nurses as well as other health practitioners each year,” said Dr. Mike Metke, president of Tyler Junior College. “We are very, very appreciative of the commitment from the Jacksonville Economic Development Corporation, East Texas Medical Center and Trinity Mother Frances Hospitals and Clinics.”

Funding over three years
As part of the partnership, JEDCO will provide approximately $360,000 over three years with more than $240,000 of that up front for start-up costs.
“We are very excited about this partnership between Tyler Junior College, both health care systems and our community,” said Darrell Prcin, JEDCO president.
“With the growing need for nurses in Jacksonville and our surrounding areas, the timing is perfect for this project. It is another example that Jacksonville is a growing and vibrant community.”

Approximately 4,500 square feet of space at ETMC Jacksonville will be renovated into the new training facility with classrooms, labs and offices.
“ETMC Jacksonville is very pleased to serve once again as the home for TJC’s nursing instruction facility in Jacksonville,” said Jack Endres, ETMC Jacksonville administrator. “I know that by working together we will build a foundation to benefit healthcare services in Cherokee County for years to come.”

Trinity Mother Frances Hospitals and Clinics will provide $225,000 over three years to support the LVN and RN educational programs in Jacksonville.
“Nurses are part of the backbone of healthcare in this country, and Cherokee County is no exception,” said Tom Cammack, CEO, Trinity Mother Frances-Jacksonville. “As baby boomers age, the need for qualified nurses will grow. The addition of this allied health and nursing program will be a phenomenal benefit for patients, healthcare providers and those in this area who might otherwise not be able to pursue a career in nursing.

“Trinity Mother Frances is proud to support this promising new nursing program, and we encourage the future graduates to consider joining the more than 1,100 nurses who make Trinity Mother Frances Hospitals and Clinics one of the premier health care systems in the United States.”

TJC will offer pre-requisite courses needed to qualify for entry and completion of nursing and other health-related programs. The first class to be scheduled will be the 12-month vocational nurse education program for LVN preparation. This venue of TJC’s VNE program, which was formerly housed at ETMC Jacksonville, will start Aug. 25, pending completion of construction or procurement of an interim classroom site.

Degree plans
The associate degree nursing transitions program designed for LVNs to move into the second year of the ADN program has a planned start date of Oct. 20, 2008.

These students will complete their RN program in December 2009.

An application period of June 2 through July 18, 2008, has been established.

Paul Monagan, TJC dean of allied health and nursing, urges individuals interested in any of the Jacksonville-based programs or courses to contact the advising office of the TJC School of Allied Health and Nursing at 903-510-2662.