MERCED, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE) – Amid the current nationwide nursing shortage, Merced College has announced that it is set to double its capacity for Nursing Program Students.

Merced College already has a long-standing partnership with Mercy Medical Center in Merced and will now be resuming a previous partnership with Emanuel Medical Center. This will allow them to provide more opportunities for nursing students to find the clinical training they need to become professional nurses or to advance in their careers.

Merced College says that its partnership with Mercy Medical Center allows the training of 30 students per semester. Their partnership with Emanuel Medical Center is expected to increase that number to 60 per semester, resulting in 120 graduates per year.

“As a community college, our success, and that of our students, requires strong partnerships with businesses, organizations, and health care providers to create new opportunities for students and address community needs,” Merced College President Chris Vitelli said. “We are proud of our partnership with Mercy, and our renewed partnership with Emanuel will benefit our students, our hospitals, and all local residents who are in need of care.”

Merced College provides entry points for three levels of nursing students:

  • Certified Nurse Assistants (CNA)
  • Licenced Vocational Nurses (LVN)
  • Registered Nurses (RN)

Each level has its own governing body and scope of practice from basic bedside nursing care to complex responsibilities.

The annual number of RN graduates will be accomplished through a gradual increase in student intake starting in spring 2023. To start this expansion, the college is expecting to add 30 seats for current LVNs to enter the LVN to RN bridge program next year, pending approval by the California Board of Registered Nursing.