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In an effort to support education and the health care industry, as well as alleviate an ongoing nursing shortage, Columbia Memorial Hospital (CMH) this week pledged an $80,000 annual gift to Clatsop Community College (CCC), providing salary support for a nursing instructor.

Nursing programs are expensive to offer. The Oregon State Board of Nursing (OSBN) requires colleges to maintain one instructor for every eight students in the clinical setting. Support like CMH’s subsidizes the cost of the program, allowing the college to keep tuition low for students and helping them finish their studies and maintain a path to well-paying jobs in the region.

“Many of our CMH nurses graduated from Clatsop Community College,” said Judy Geiger, CMH vice president of Patient Care Services. “We could not care for our community without their valuable nursing program. It’s a partnership worth investing in to offer safe, superior care for our patients.”

CCC’s nursing program received an eight-year re-approval from the OSBN in April 2021, affirming its excellent work preparing students for nursing careers. The report from the OSBN commended “Columbia Memorial Hospital and Providence Seaside Hospital for their obvious dedication and support of the CCC Nursing Program, their participation in the program’s Advisory Committee, their sharing of resources, and their efforts to provide quality clinical placements.”

The donation establishes the CMH Nursing Support Fund at the CCC Foundation, where anyone can contribute toward the nursing program. The college will select an instructor to support with the yearly gifts and will provide CMH with an annual report of fund activity and impact.

CMH has been a longtime supporter of CCC’s medical education programs, offering scholarships for certified nursing assistant, medical assistant and nursing students, in addition to providing practicum experiences, guest speakers, job shadow opportunities and program-specific funding.

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