CENTERVILLE — The nursing program based at Indian Hills Community College's Centerville campus has been suspended for at least a year.

A press release announced the decision Wednesday, citing numbers in the Centerville program.

Therefore, the summer nursing term set to begin soon will not begin, and thus there will be no new students in the program at the Centerville campus.

“These students can now make plans to shift to the Ottumwa campus nursing program or work on their general education coursework on the Centerville campus, starting in the summer,” Dr. Jill Budde, executive dean of career and workforce education at IHCC said.

College officials intend to ramp up marketing efforts to try and resume the program in Centerville next year.

Students that would be entering their second year will still be able to take those classes in Centerville and finish the two-year program on the campus.

Specific numbers were not yet available by press time.

The nursing program at the Centerville campus has been revered for some time, including a partnership with Centerville High School to allow students to take the program alongside high school classes.

The decision came after enrollment numbers in early 2019 were lower than officials had hoped at both the Centerville and Ottumwa campuses, officials said.

“We worked with our marketing department to put more resources into pushing information regarding nursing out to perspective candidates,” said Budde. “The result was more applications in the Ottumwa Practical Nursing program, but not as many as we would have liked in Centerville or the Ottumwa Associate Degree Nursing Programs.”

Despite the program’s suspension in Centerville, college officials are still seeing graduation rates from the program climb and more are passing the board exam.

The head of nursing programs at the college, Rebecca Ellingson, is currently gearing for a curriculum review.

“Be assured,” Budde said, “that our plan is to offer the nursing programs in Centerville in 2020.”

Kyle Ocker is the editor of the Daily Iowegian and can be reached at kocker@dailyiowegian.com or by calling (641) 856-6336. Follow him on Twitter @Kyle_Ocker

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