Yakima Valley College

Yakima Valley College campus Thursday, July 2, 2020, near the intersection of Nob Hill Boulevard and South 16th Avenue in Yakima, Wash. 

A new four-quarter Practical Nursing program launched at Yakima Valley College this winter term, taking on 10 students in its first cohort to contribute to the high-demand profession.

“PNs provide direct hands-on patient care including monitoring patients’ health, measuring blood pressure and other vitals, administering basic patient care, providing for the basic comfort of patients, discussing the patients’ care, documenting patient concerns, and charting patient care service,” the college said in a statement Friday.

These nurses work under the guidance of registered nurses, nurse practitioners and doctors in hospitals, residential care facilities and other health care settings.

The new program, which began this winter quarter, is the only PN program on the eastern side of the state. There are six statewide, it said.

The region has a critical need for these professionals, the announcement stated. It pointed to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics that anticipate PN positions to grow by 9% from 2019-29. The median annual income for a PN is $47,480, it said.

The new YVC program has prerequisites in biology, math, English and psychology, and requires a GPA of 2.0 in core courses. The college pitches the program as a stepping stone to a career as a practical nurse, or toward Licensed Practical Nurse, Registered Nurse or Bachelor’s in Science Nursing credentials.

The program will be expanded to serve 20 students in winter quarter of 2022.

For more information about YVC’s new PN program call 509-574-4902 or email nursing@yvcc.edu.

Reach Janelle Retka at jretka@yakimaherald.com or on Twitter: @janelleretka