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Columbia Memorial donation aids Clatsop nursing program

The hospital has hired many nursing graduates from the college
By Edward Stratton

The Daily Astorian

Published on November 8, 2017 3:23PM

Last changed on November 9, 2017 7:44AM

Nursing student Irena Goldenov learns how to insert a needle in a patient’s arm from instructor Tina Kotson.

Clatsop Community College

Nursing student Irena Goldenov learns how to insert a needle in a patient’s arm from instructor Tina Kotson.

Overseeing the gift of $50,000 from Columbia Memorial Hospital to Clatsop Community College are, from left to right, the hospital’s Vice President of Patient Care Services Trece Gurrad, college foundation President Susan Bartlett, hospital CEO Erik Thorsen, college President Chris Breitmeyer and college Director of Nursing and Allied Health Allison Sansom, along with nursing students Sarrah Lindgren, Heidi Thompson, Madilyn Davis and Miranda Dietrichs.

Clatsop Community College

Overseeing the gift of $50,000 from Columbia Memorial Hospital to Clatsop Community College are, from left to right, the hospital’s Vice President of Patient Care Services Trece Gurrad, college foundation President Susan Bartlett, hospital CEO Erik Thorsen, college President Chris Breitmeyer and college Director of Nursing and Allied Health Allison Sansom, along with nursing students Sarrah Lindgren, Heidi Thompson, Madilyn Davis and Miranda Dietrichs.


Columbia Memorial Hospital has gifted $50,000 to Clatsop Community College Foundation to aid the nursing program, a regular supply of staff at local hospitals.

Allison Sansom, director of nursing and allied health at the college, said nursing programs are expensive because of requirements by the State Board of Nursing, such as a ratio of 1 instructor for every 8 students in the clinical setting.

“We receive some contributions from some of our clinical partners that go to support the nursing program and to offset some of those costs we have to run a nursing program, yet keep tuition and fees low for the students,” Sansom said.

Columbia Memorial and Providence Seaside hospitals, along with a private nonprofit, combined in 2012 to donate $100,000 when the college was facing severe budget cuts.

Along with donations, local hospitals provide a training ground for students, each of whom spend 900 hours working alongside mentor nurses.

Over the last three years, 19 of the graduates have been hired by Columbia Memorial, along with 11 at Tillamook Regional Medical Center and four at Providence Seaside. Other graduates have been hired by other regional hospitals, health departments, school districts, Tongue Point Job Corps Center, addiction and mental health treatment facilities and private practices.

Erik Thorsen, the hospital’s CEO, said having a local nursing program helps the hospital avoid the staffing shortages that other facilities have faced.

“It helps us with our workforce needs, and it’s great to see the quality that the college produces,” Thorsen said. “We continue to hire local, to try to keep them employed here locally.”

Flanking executives from the college and hospital during a check-transfer Wednesday were nursing students Heidi Thompson, Miranda Dietrichs, Madilyn Davis and Sarrah Lindgren. All are local. Most plan to work at local hospitals.

Each had to earn 45 credits of prerequisites and apply to get into the highly competitive program, a full-time endeavor.

“It’s like a 40-hour-a-week job, on top of actually trying to make money and stuff, and then studying at the same time,” Davis said of the program. “It’s rough. It’s a lot of work. It’s a lot of sacrifice that you have to make. Obviously it’s worth it, 100 percent, but it’s a lot to continue and stay sane at the same time.”



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