A sound and functional nursing program must meet and serve the needs of the surrounding communities. In order to better meet these needs, a program should be developed and maintained using input from the communities which that program serves. Effective use of a program advisory committee which is comprised of interested and concerned community leaders can provide the program with a method of gaining this valuable community input.
A two-way network of understanding and communication is vital if nursing education is to be relevant and supported by the community. Nursing educators must know the needs and wants of the community; the community must know the program objectives and the potential of the education provided.
The nursing advisory committee should be the major communications link between the community and the faculty and staff of the Marion County School of Practical Nursing.
The members of the nursing advisory committee help the nursing educator determine objectives that affect the study of the practice of nursing. The committee provides advice only; it has no administrative or legislative authority. This committee can provide assistance with:
- determining manpower needs and employment opportunities for which training is provided or needed:
- selling the nursing program to the community and business/industry leader;
- coordinating nursing programs with education and training programs offered by employers, public agencies, and other schools;
- establishing student proficiency standards;
- making cost studies for specialized needs;
- assisting in equipment and supply selection and acquisition;
- identifying resource persons who can assist with instruction facility layout, planning, etc.;
- evaluating physical facility, adequacy of equipment, lab layout;
- reviewing, evaluating, and updating the curriculum;
- arranging meetings to establish cooperative relationships between the program and business/industry;
- promoting and publicizing vocational and practical nursing education;
- planning activities to improve the transition that the student makes from the nursing program to the world of work (field trips, etc.);
- supporting student activities, clubs, organizations, and awards;
- recommending places for summertime employment for the instructor and identifying potential substitute instructors;
- developing ideas for student recruitment;
- assisting in establishing and/or maintenance of an effective placement program.