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High school nursing course to begin

WORTHINGTON -- Principal Paul Karelis is excited for what the prospect of a nursing course could provide to students at Worthington High School.

Several students will begin a newly designed nursing course in the fourth quarter, which will earn them college credits for three pre-requisite classes into a college nursing program.

In collaboration with Minnesota West Community and Technical College, the school district has spent months tweaking the upcoming course.

"Most health care programs have competitive entrance so students who have these classes will have stronger applications into the program," said Minnesota West Worthington campus dean, Dawn Gordon. "They have to complete the course with the same rigor as college students, so it is actual preparation for the health care workforce."

Students will spend the first portion of the course learning medical terminology with high school and college instructor, Craig Kroger.

Once they've completed the class, they will devote two and a half weeks training for first aid and CPR-AED certification with District 518 school nurse Wendy Donkersloot.

Donkersloot, who is a certified instructor for CPR-AED through the American Heart Association, explained she had previously conducted training for the school district staff members.

"It (the nursing program) will be catered to the level of student learning so they have enough time to understand it," she said, adding that working with adults for CPR-AED training usually takes about three hours.

The final class focuses specifically on introduction to nursing assistance.

"Topics include child care, reporting procedures, and hospice care," he added.

Additionally, students will also be exposed to supervised lab activities at Sanford Regional Hospital, Worthington.

The nursing course has been well received by high-schoolers, Karelis said, adding that he has received a full section of 17 students with three more on the waiting list. Enrolled students will meet every day for 90 minutes.

"We will be offering the course every fourth quarter of the school year during fourth block," he explained.

Accompanying the new program will be a new piece of equipment. School board members approved the purchase of an interactive television (ITV) for use of distance learning Tuesday, during the regular school board meeting.

"What the equipment will allow us to do is access courses that are being offered by the service co-op (Southwest/West Central Service Cooperative)," explained District Superintendent John Landgaard during Tuesday's board meeting. "It would also allow us to access coursework that they are teaching in other school districts."

He said the equipment would cost approximately $14,000.

Maggie Kraemer -- school district media specialist -- added she has submitted a matching grant application to the Blandin Foundation for an additional ITV.

Daily Globe Reporter Ana Anthony can be reached at 376-7321.