UCC Awarded $1.9 Million Grant
To Advance Healthcare Careers

The U.S. Department of Labor announced recently that Union County College has been selected from among a highly competitive field to receive a $1.9 million grant over three years to provide expanded educational programs and resources for educating practical nurses and other healthcare workers-one of only two such grants awarded in New Jersey. In commending the UCC team that developed the project, Building A Pathway to Healthcare Careers, UCC President Dr. Thomas H. Brown noted that, "This new initiative responds to the region's growing shortage of healthcare workers in new and innovative ways."

This prestigious national grant will support the training of frontline health workers, such as emergency medical technicians, the purchase of state-of-the-art equipment that will benefit students pursuing healthcare careers at UCC, and expansion of the practical nursing program through new evening and weekend course offerings.

According to Patricia Castaldi, MSN, RN, Director of UCC's Practical Nursing Program and Project Director of this new initiative, "This is a very exciting grant that will also provide important resources for recruitment, retention, tutoring and career counseling. It will better enable our students to meet the growing challenges of today's healthcare industry." The grant will also support increased outreach to high school students and other populations to encourage pursuit of post secondary training in healthcare careers.

In announcing the grant, Senator Frank R. Lautenberg stated, "These funds will help Union County College…provide training for students to become nurses-and to better keep families healthy in New Jersey." In congratulating the College, Senator Robert Menendez commented, that the grant will help to "develop nurses who are at the forefront of caring for those who are sick or injured."

The Practical Nursing Program at Union County College is a 4 semester, full-time program leading to a Diploma. The nursing courses are offered during the day and, effective Fall 2008, on an evening/weekend schedule. This new offering will provide greater access for students who have employment or family obligations during the daytime hours. The required college courses may be taken during the evening, weekend hours or as distance education, as available.

The curriculum incorporates theoretical knowledge from the biological and social sciences into the nursing framework. Students are able to apply information acquired in the classroom and skills laboratory to clinical client care experiences.

This program has received full accreditation from the New Jersey Board of Nursing (2006 - 2014) and the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (2006 - 2011). Graduates of the program are eligible to take the NCLEX-PN examination for Practical Nurse licensure. UCC Practical Nursing graduates achieved a 100% pass rate on the NCLEX-PN in 2007.

The Licensed Practical Nurse plays a critical role in the provision of care for clients throughout the life span. Beginning salaries average around $35,000 and may start as high as $40,000, depending upon the setting.

UCC Practical Nursing
Emergency Medical Services (EMS) consists of a team of medical professionals who provide emergency pre-hospital care and transportation of sick or injured individuals. In New Jersey, there are two levels of training for EMS personnel. The first Level is the Emergency Medical Technician-Basic (EMT-B). The EMT-B receives training in basic emergency care including: patient assessment, airway management, bandaging and splinting of injuries, management of medical emergencies, and emergency childbirth.

EMT training is a minimum of 110 hours in duration, and combines classroom lectures with small-group skill stations to reinforce the program's content. There is also an additional 10-hour clinical rotation that is scheduled at one of the local hospital Emergency Departments. This provides the EMT student with the ability to practice some of the skills learned during their EMT class. New Jersey's EMT training program is based upon a national model titled the National Standard Curriculum. Professional level CPR is a prerequisite in order to take an EMT program. CPR training can be taken through any local hospital, or Red Cross Chapter, or through the college.

Upon successful completion of the EMT-B training program, the candidate must successfully complete a written certification exam offered through the NJ Office of EMS, in order to obtain EMT certification. The EMT certification is renewed every three years by completing a minimum of 48 hours of approved continuing education.




This product was funded by a grant awarded under the President’s Community-Based Job Training Grants, as implemented by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employment & Training Administration. The information contained in this product was created by a grantee organization and does not necessarily reflect the official position of the U.S. Department of Labor. All references to non-governmental companies or organizations, their services, products, or resources are offered for informational purposes and should not be construed as an endorsement by the Department of Labor. This product is copyrighted by the institution that created it and is intended for individual organizational, non-commercial use only.