Above, Respiratory Care students with the Foundation provided remote learning skills kit they each received, which they can use to follow online instruction this year.

This semester at NCC, future nurses and respiratory care technicians are studying so they can enter the workforce and put their skills to use taking care of patients.  There is unprecedented demand for nurses and healthcare professionals in Fairfield County. However, because of the dual challenges of remote learning and economic instability for students, attaining those skills in order to graduate and enter the workforce is more daunting than ever.

Traditionally, a nursing education requires a lot of hands on experience and in person lab modules.  Not only does remote learning during the pandemic demand new approaches, but a digital divide has also emerged in education.  Whether a student can afford, or has access to the technology, tools and resources to continue studying remotely, as well as the financial means to cover tuition and basic needs, is more critical to their success than ever.
The NCC Foundation is working to ensure qualified NCC nursing students are not left behind because of an inability to afford tuition or a lack of tools to sufficiently participate in remote learning for their degree.  Annually, nearly 20% of scholarships we award are for nursing students, the biggest group after general studies majors.
Specifically, for 2020-21, the Foundation is also supporting students in Nursing and Allied Health programs who have limited access to labs on campus because of COVID-19.  Due to social distancing requirements, the number of in-person labs on campus for each student has been dramatically reduced.
By funding special take home kits, curated by faculty, students will have the tools they need to practice at home the skills they normally review in the on-campus lab setting.  With the knowledge they need to complete their courses and graduate, NCC nursing students and respiratory care students will be able to pursue productive careers in the healthcare field.
At right, the contents of the Respiratory Care remote learning kits. Additionally, a ventilation simulator is being purchased that can be shared by all students.  It is suited for both in person and remote learning, as it is connected to the internet and can still be accessed and used for learning when students are at home.  The instructor can also teach simulations remotely by controlling the ventilator via a tablet.