Liz McCormick Published

A Nursing Lab On Wheels Seeks To Grow Health Care Education In Rural Counties

West Virginia Junior College Mobile Nursing Lab_crop.jpg

A mobile nursing lab is bringing health care education to 19 rural counties in West Virginia. The 38-foot RV, which serves as a retrofitted lab, is the first of its kind in the state.

West Virginia Junior College’s (WVJC) Mobile Nursing Lab features two simulated hospital rooms with high-fidelity simulation technology. That includes high-tech, computerized mannequins that help create life-like situations.

It’s part of a new Hybrid Online Nursing Program offered through the school. WVJC has campuses in Charleston, Morgantown and Bridgeport. It’s also online.

According to a news release, the program aims to solve rural health care disparities and worker shortages by bringing education opportunities directly to communities, and offer classes in an innovative way.

“This new program and our Mobile Nursing Lab will help give individuals across the state access to educational opportunities they’ve not had before,” said Chad Callen, chairman of the board at West Virginia Junior College.

Students in the program will be able to take classes online and then attend labs in the mobile van on nights and weekends as well as have clinical experiences.

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Courtesy of West Virginia Junior College
Inside one of the simulated hospital rooms in the Mobile Nursing Lab.

The program targets four rural regions in southern and north central West Virginia.

Region 1 includes Randolph, Barbour, Tucker, Taylor, Upshur and Lewis counties. Region 2 is made up of Braxton, Gilmer, Calhoun, Roane and Jackson counties. Region 3 includes Logan, Wyoming, Mingo and McDowell counties, and Region 4 consists of Nicholas, Greenbrier, Summers and Monroe counties.

“This program will help build career opportunities for those in our rural communities for generations and aid in bringing vital health care services to the areas of our state that are most in need,” Callen said.


Monica Allison
Courtesy of West Virginia Junior College

West Virginia Junior College said its ultimate goal is to connect students with health care providers, or program affiliates, and to teach and expand the state’s nursing workforce.

West Virginia Junior College was established in Charleston in 1892.