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Josh Meyer

Dental hygiene team wins statewide knowledge competition

A team of Virginia Western Community College dental hygiene students recently won the second annual statewide “It’s Hygienic” knowledge competition at the VCU School of Dentistry in Richmond. The team of Chelsea Broce, Kaylee Lovelace and Katharyn Seay beat out a tough field on Feb. 17 that included eight teams of three to five students from associate’s and bachelor’s degree dental hygiene programs.

The aim of “It’s Hygienic,” a corporate sponsored event hosted by Board Games, LLC, is to allow dental hygiene students who dedicated the last two to four years preparing for the dental hygiene profession the opportunity and inspiration to show off their knowledge as they prepare for their board exam.  As the founders of this now national event, who are also Registered Dental Hygienists (RDH) state on their website, “There is nothing better than having an auditorium full of students, faculty and community RDHs helping to shape tomorrow professionals.”

The student teams competed in a panel, question-answer style format consisting of five rounds of nearly 400 questions including core sciences, dental hygiene process of care, visual identification, community health, ethics, research, and case studies.

The Virginia Western team, named “The Tooth Sleuths,” began their day at 5:30 a.m. with a drive to Richmond, quizzing one another along the way in final preparation. The resulting victory gave them the knowledge that their educational experience is paying off.  “It was a fun and reassuring experience,” Lovelace said.

In addition to their education, the Virginia Western students credit their ability to work well together as a team and that each of them brought a different area of strength to the competition. “It’s exciting to know that I’ve been in school for two years and know more, or at least just as much, as those who went to school for four years,” Broce said.

Seay, who also holds a bachelor’s degree in biology, added that while her undergraduate degree was challenging, she feels the dental hygiene program is harder because of all there is to do in terms of material, patient care and work with the community.

The four semi-finalists in the “It’s Hygienic” competition were from Virginia’s Community Colleges. Virginia Western’s Roanoke team topped the second-place team, which was comprised of students from the extended Virginia Western dental hygiene joint venture with Lord Fairfax Community College in Middletown. Northern Virginia Community College and Thomas Nelson Community College tied for third place.

Next week, Virginia Western dental hygiene students will begin sitting for their national board exams. Over the past five years, students from Virginia Western have had a first-time pass rate between 96-100 percent. Broce, Lovelace and Seay say they feel prepared and confident going into the exam.

For more information about Virginia Western’s dental hygiene program, please visit www.virginiawestern.edu/academics/health/dental.

Nursing program exceeds state, national standards

Virginia Western Community College announces that its nursing program has exceeded the state and national average for first-time pass rate of the Registered Nurse (RN) licensure exam for the second year in a row. The nursing class of 2017 had a first-time pass rate of 98 percent compared to the national average of 84 percent for associate degree programs.

“We are thrilled with the success of our graduates and remain focused on providing the education and skills that will allow them to thrive,” said Lauren Hayward, program director of nursing. “The vast majority of our students receive job offers prior to graduation and more than 95 percent of them stay and work in the communities we serve.”

Virginia Western is accepting applications for the incoming Fall 2018 nursing class. Prospective students must complete the application and provide all the requested academic transcripts no later than March 1, 2018. For more information on how to apply for the nursing program, please visit: www.virginiawestern.edu/academics/health/nursing/apply.

“Healthcare is a great economic driver for the Roanoke Region and our health professions programs support the industry by preparing students to seamlessly begin and prosper in their careers,” said Dr. Robert H. Sandel, President of Virginia Western. “We are proud of our nursing program and the fantastic graduates it produces.”

Virginia Western’s nursing program is fully approved by the Virginia Board of Nursing and collaborates with an advisory board comprised of professionals from the region’s healthcare providers. The nursing program tailors its curriculum to prepare students for employment in the ever-changing world of healthcare.

“With the caliber of topnotch nurses graduating from Virginia Western Community College’s nursing school, it is evident that the program is among the best in the nation,” said Margaret Lea Lee, Chief Nursing Officer at LewisGale Medical Center.  “The graduates are well-prepared to meet both the clinical and personal  needs of our patients and their families. Their commitment to delivering high quality, compassionate care also aligns with our Medical Center’s overall culture.”

Virginia Western’s nursing program prides itself on a process of continual quality improvement, most recently demonstrated by the Candidacy Status granted by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing.

For more information about Virginia Western’s nursing program, please visit http://www.virginiawestern.edu/academics/health/nursing or call 540-857-7306.

Nationally known Gig Economy expert to give free talk

A nationally recognized expert on the nation’s growing Gig Economy will speak at Virginia Western Community College on Monday evening, March 5th in a free public presentation.

Diane Mulcahy is the author of the book “The Gig Economy: The Complete Guide to Getting Better Work, Taking More Time Off, and Financing the Life You Want.” Five years ago, she created and began teaching an MBA class on the Gig Economy at Babson College in Boston, where she is an adjunct lecturer. The class has been recognized by Forbes as one of the Top 10 Most Innovative Business School Classes in the U.S.

WHAT:      Nationally recognized Gig Economy expert Diane Mulcahy

WHEN:      6 p.m., Monday, March 5, 2018

WHERE:     Whitman Theater, Virginia Western Community College campus (www.virginiawestern.edu/about/visitvwcc)

COST:        Free, RSVPs requested at www.virginiawestern.edu/startup

MORE:       Mulcahy will be signing copies of her book from 7:15-8 p.m. and books will be available for purchase

In her 2017 book, Mulcahy offers practical professional and personal strategies and practical exercises for people considering independent work in the Gig Economy. She provides insights to consultants, contractors, freelancers or part-timers – anyone seeking a more lucrative, secure and balanced life that doesn’t rely on a full-time job with one employer.

Mulcahy has contributed to Harvard Business Review and been interviewed by PBS, NPR, Reuters and other media outlets, and she frequently speaks at industry conferences and universities all over the world.

Mulcahy’s presentation at Virginia Western is made possible by a grant from Building Entrepreneurial Economies, an initiative of Virginia’s Department of Housing and Community Development.