LPN program proposed

Published 12:30 pm Tuesday, February 5, 2019

A budget amendment to establish a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) program as a partnership between Southside Virginia Community College and The Woodland in Farmville has been submitted to the General Assembly.

State Sen. Mark Peake is listed as patron of the proposed amendment.

The proposed amendment, under Senate Bill (SB) 1100, is located at lines 47 and 48 on page 231 for allocations under Virginia Community College System.

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On line 47, the proposed amendment would strike “$895,795,430” and insert “$895,945,430.” On line 48, the proposed amendment would also strike “$903,505,430” and insert “$903,655,430.”

The amendment would contain an appropriation for $150,000 for the first year, and $150,000 for the second year. The appropriation would be designated to SVCC “to offer a licensed practical nurse (LPN) program in the Farmville area in partnership with the Woodland,” an explanation of the amendment read.

“The Woodland shall provide an amount equal to this appropriation to operate this program,” the amendment continued.

A representative of SVCC cited that Virginia community colleges are estimated to produce half of Virginia’s new nurses annually.

“Senator Peake was contacted last summer by Mr. David Whitus about re-establishing a nursing school in the Farmville area,” Peake’s Legislative adviser George Goodwin said Monday.

Goodwin said as of Monday, he has not seen Senator Peake’s submitted budget amendment included in the Senate Finance Committee markup of the Governor’s proposed budget.

He said it is possible that the House of Delegates could revive it.

Dr. Al Roberts, president of SVCC, thanked Peake and representatives of The Woodland, including Whitus, Director of Administration, Marketing & Development, for their advocacy of this program.

“Funding from the proposed amendment along with matching funds from the Woodland would allow SVCC to address a critical workforce need,” Roberts said. “We are very grateful to Senator Peake for sponsoring this amendment and to Dave Whitus for his initiative and support.”

Greg Cole, president and CEO of The Woodland, said an LPN program operated in Farmville for a number of years. However, the Farmville program ceased a few years ago.

“Our first call was to Senator Peak’s office to express our desire and need to have this program in Farmville,” Cole said concerning the process. “We were excited to learn of his proposed budget amendment to establish a matching grant for the next two years. Should this pass, we will have to begin finding funding sources to secure the match so that a much needed program can come back to Farmville to train nurses from our area to serve many health care needs in our community. The Woodland is committed to providing high quality care, well-trained and compassionate nurses are the key.”