OCtech introduces LPN to RN Flex Program

Orangeburg-Calhoun Technical College has introduced a new nursing program that allows a licensed practical nurse (LPN) to become a registered nurse (RN) in one year.  The program is designed to accommodate the needs of LPNs who want to continue working while completing the courses needed to become a registered nurse.  The new OCtech program enrolled its first students in January and is accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing Commission, Inc.

Candance Tooley, OCtech’s coordinator for the program, said “The LPN to ADN Flex program is a progressive and innovative way to obtain your Associate’s degree in nursing.  The one year curriculum is challenging but rewarding.  We currently have five students enrolled in the program.  It is important to these students that they be able to work while completing their degrees.”

Because LPNs have already taken a number of nursing courses and have mastered many of the skills needed by a register nurse, the new program can be completed in one year.

In the LPN to RN Flex program, courses are taught in a variety of formats offering more scheduling flexibility for students.   Some courses are taught through “face to face” instruction while others are offered online.  Clinical experiences provide the opportunity to apply what is learned in the classroom. Clinical sites include the Regional Medical Center, the Family Health Center, Palmetto Health Children’s Hospital and Three Rivers Hospital.

Students enrolled in the LPN to RN Flex program complete two courses during the spring semester, two courses over the summer, and finish the program during the fall semester by enrolling in three courses.

The new program appeals to LPNs like Ginny Walling who began the LPN to RN Flex program in January.  Ginny graduated from OCtech’s Practical Nursing program in 2010 and has worked as a LPN for 5 years.    She wanted to become a registered nurse but was concerned about finding the time to attend classes as a working mother.   OCtech’s LPN to RN Flex program offers her the flexibility to continue working while completing the courses she needs to become a registered nurse.

Ginny works as a LPN four days a week (Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday) at the Coastal Carolina Surgical Center in Walterboro.  Thursdays and Saturdays are devoted to her nursing classes and clinical experiences.   Some of the nursing courses require Ginny to come to OCtech for “face to face” instruction on Thursdays while other courses are taught online.  Saturdays are spent in her nursing clinicals.

Ginny says “It’s a very demanding program.  I study late at night and on Sundays, but I want to become a registered nurse.  At the end of the year, it will all be worth it.  OCtech’s new Flex program is making it possible for me to become a RN without having to give up my job.”

“We are proud of the nursing programs we offer.  Historically, our graduates perform exceptionally well on the national licensure exam.  Last year, 97.7% of our associate degree nursing graduates passed the NCLEX exam on their first attempt, and we have a 100% job placement rate with all of our graduates finding employment as a nurse after graduation, ” said Kay Blackwell, Dean of Health Sciences and Nursing.

For information about OCtech’s LPN to RN Flex program, contact Candance Tooley at 535-1340 or tooleyc@otech.edu.