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Free pre-nursing class to be offered

This is the class for those interested in nursing, but either aren't sure it's the career for them or need a little brush-up before jumping back into school.

The Adult Basic Education program, the Minnesota State Community and Technical College, and Rural Minnesota CEP have teamed up again this year to offer a free pre-nursing class at the college.

"It's to target students who aren't really sure they want to go into nursing," Instructor Amy Fish said.

This will give them the opportunity to see what they'll be looking at for a two or four-year degree before investing the money and time into the program.

The class runs Tuesdays and Thursdays, Oct. 1 through Dec. 17, from 5:30 to 9 p.m. at the Detroit Lakes campus of M-State.

In the five units of the class, students cover study skills -- note taking, time management -- reading, writing and math; medical terms; different healthcare occupations, and basic nursing skills.

Fish said it's good to take the class because there is a waiting list for the nursing program, and instructors don't want students to get into the program and either fail or drop out because it's not something they wanted after all.

"We want them to get in and be ready to succeed," she said.

There are also pre-requisites for the course.

Last year was the first year the program took place, and Fish said between the Detroit Lakes and Fergus Falls campuses, about 30 students took part. Not knowing the statistics for the Fergus Falls campus, she said there were two students at the Detroit Lakes campus that decided not to follow through with the program. One was a mother with young children and realized the workload would be too much at this point, and the other student realized the healthcare field wasn't for her after all.

Those two examples, she said, shows the purpose and success of the class because now those students won't be going into a field that's not right for them.

Feedback from the students who took the class has been very positive.

Many of the comments on the student evaluation after the course was finished stated that the math refresher was the most helpful.

Some other comments:

"It really did get me ready for college."

"I really enjoyed the classes I attended and would recommend to anyone who wants a nursing career."

"As a result of the pre-nursing class, I have learned a lot. (The instructors) made me understand more knowledge of the nursing field."

So far, this fall's class is only the second one, but there may be more in the future.

"We're hoping to run it twice a year, depending on interest and, as always, funding," Fish said.

There is no credit for the class.

"It just gives them the skills going into nursing."

It can also help those who graduated with a low grade point average and now want to work to get into the program that requires a certain GPA.

Fish said the project has been successful and other colleges are picking up the curriculum -- which was developed by instructors Cindy Moore, Kathleen Froelich, Judy LaFleur and Fish -- including the Alexandria Technical College and several in the Twin Cities area.

To register, call 847-4418.