HMH to Close LVN School in January 2019

Huntsville Memorial Hospital to Close Hospital LVN School in January 2019

Huntsville Memorial Hospital’s (HMH) focus upon reorganization reflects the industry’s larger struggle to adapt to a shifting economic, political and technological forces at work to remake the health care delivery system. We recognize times of change are stressful and challenging and that we must be a responsive organization. That means putting in the effort to learn new ways of doing things while continuing to meet the daily demands of our jobs and serving our community. HMH is re-focusing upon our business model and identifying needed realignment of strategies to grow service lines that are critical to our community. In doing this, tough decisions must be made. That involves looking at all service lines and things that we do every day to determine if they still make strategic and financial sense. The reality of today's economic climate is one in which government funding is decreasing and financial assistance is harder to identify and obtain. Therefore, organizations are forced to diversify financial resources in order to maintain the necessary income for day-to-day operations, special projects, and expansion strategies.

Through this process and after much deliberation, HMH has decided to close the Joe G. Davis School of Nursing in January 2019, after the current class of 21 LVN students graduate. A hospital based program cannot compete financially with academic centers that offer nursing programs such as Colleges and Universities due to economies of scale. For example, the introduction of high-fidelity simulation (HFS) into nursing education provides technologically based teaching that offers a higher level of interactivity and realism than has ever been available before. In addition to providing a safe learning environment for students, the use of this technology can provide many benefits to students. However, this technology is expensive; the most basic of simulation labs begin at well over $100,000, and more advanced labs can cost millions. Most Hospital Programs do not have capital dollars readily available to support the integration of HFS into their curricula. The Huntsville Memorial Hospital Joe G. Davis School of Vocational Nursing was established in April 1966, with the first class enrolled in September 1966 and graduating in August 1967. In 1977, the school was renamed the Huntsville Memorial Hospital Joe G. Davis School of Vocational Nursing in memory of Joe G. Davis, a member of the HMH Board of Trustees from 1945 to 1972.

There are approximately 88 approved LVN programs in the state of Texas. Only 3 of them, are hospital based. In the mid 80’s Hospital Based programs began to close and Community College education became the norm. The Lone Star College System, Angelina College, Blinn College, and Navarro College are 4 community colleges in the surrounding area that offer LVN Programs.

According to the Texas Center for Nursing Workforce Studies In Collaboration with the Texas Board of Nursing –Nursing Education Program Information Survey- “Program Characteristics of Vocational Nursing Programs” that was completed in 2016 and published in February 2017, there were 3 closures of LVN Programs between 2015-2016 and no new programs added (www.dshs.texas.gov/chs/cnws).

Geographic Designation of Main Campuses, 2016

Program Setting

Geographic Designation

Total

Metro Border

Metro Non- Border

Non- Metro Border

Non- Metro Non- Border

Public College/University

6

38

2

23

69

Private College/University

0

1

0

1

2

Public/Private Hospital

1

0

0

2

3

Career Schools/Colleges

3

11

0

0

14

Total

10

50

2

26

88

The hospital will continue to support the existing class through their graduation in January 2019. The HMH Joe G. Davis faculty are a very dedicated and knowledgeable group of employees and they have done an outstanding job with this program. The passing rate was 100% for the last two graduating classes which include January 2017 and January 2018. The faculty who are impacted will be given the opportunity to apply for existing positions within HMH upon closing of the program in January 2019.

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