New Castle News

June 6, 2013

Vo-tech practical nursing program to end

Debbie Wachter
New Castle News

NEW CASTLE — Adult practical nursing students at the vo-tech school will be able to graduate in February.

But that will be the last class to graduate from the program as it exists under the operation of the Lawrence County Career and Technical Center.

The school’s joint operating committee voted 11-0 last night to close the nursing program in February. The committee also voted to furlough a full-time secretary in practical nursing, effective June 30, as a cost-cutting measure.

Center director Dr. Andrew Tommelleo explained that students who started the 12-month program last September will be able to graduate this September, and those who started in February will graduate in February 2014. No new classes will start in September, he said.

The practical nursing program could continue if a school or health care outfit is interested in taking it over, Tommelleo told the joint operating committee. He said he has had discussions with some potentially interested parties.

The committee’s decisions were made despite a group of practical nursing students dressed in blue scrubs, many of them in tears, pleading to keep the school open.

Most of the member school districts had indicated they would not pass the vo-tech budget this year unless practical nursing, which has been soaking money out of the school, would end.

The budget must be passed by a majority of member districts in order for the center to stay in operation.