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NMCCL Stories

News | March 16, 2024

NMCCL in 14th year of helping high school students lay foundation for futures in nursing

By Riley Eversull

Twice a week, some inpatient spaces in Naval Medical Center Camp Lejeune become a teaching platform for high school academics. Abigail Brown and Madison Pankey observe health care delivery in the intensive care unit on March 5, 2024. Just one floor above, their classmates, Katherine Scott and McKenzie Pankey, shadow activities in the multi-service ward.

All four Lejeune High School (LHS) students are enrolled in the school’s Health Sciences/Nurse Aide I Program. The program was started in 2010 as a collaboration between the medical center and LHS.

“It is the first and only Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA) in the continuous United States that offers the Health Sciences/Nurse Aide I program for military-connected high school students,” said Dr. Angelia Washington, LHS nurse educator.

According to Washington, the first year of the program focuses on a variety of health care topics to include medical care delivery systems, legal and ethical responsibilities, and human anatomy and physiology. The second year consists of 230 hours of nurse aide curriculum and 40 hours of clinical placement in NMCCL’s multi-service ward and intensive care unit. After completing year two, next is exams.

“Students sit for the National Nurse Aide Assessment Program (NNAAP), which is the national nurse aide examination,” explained Washington. “Upon successful completion, the students are listed on the North Carolina Nurse Aide I Registry and receive state of North Carolina Nurse Aide I certification, which is renewable every two years.”

Throughout its 14 years, the program has graduated approximately 165 students. The students are graduating high school with not just a diploma but credentials for future employment. Washington believes students are prepared for pursuing a higher education in the health care industry.

“The pipeline from high school to post-secondary education to ascertaining health care employment is a win-win for all that are championing and embracing the educational process for military-connected students as future professionals and leaders impacting the 21st century health care industry.”
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