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100 Years of Answering the Call


100 Years of Answering the Call

This year, Central Alabama Community College celebrates the 100th year of the Coosa Valley School of Nursing educating and training nursing students. Having been established upon the opening of the Sylacauga Infirmary in 1921, the nursing training program has responded to the healthcare needs of its community without fail. The high standards established by the founders of the nursing program continue today. Whether serving the Drummond-Fraser community of the early 1900’s or educating nurses to serve the everchanging healthcare community of today, the Coosa Valley School of Nursing has answered the call for its communities.

The Coosa Valley School of Nursing has spent the last 100 years trying to reach the healthcare needs of the community. Current Health Science Program Administrator, Dr. Jennifer Steele, explains, “over the last 100 years, healthcare has changed dramatically. With the American population exploding post-WW II and the lifespan lengthening, healthcare must answer the call to care for a growing aging population. As a profession, nursing is also experiencing an exodus of older nurses from the bedside and the classroom. Now more than ever, it is important to nursing education, to prepare the nurses of the future to meet healthcare demands.”

Healthcare relationships are essential to the survival of any nursing program. The Coosa Valley School of Nursing thrives because of the strong partnerships with its healthcare affiliates. While the nursing program began as a means to provide nurses for the mill workers and their families, ultimately, Coosa Valley Medical Center became the home base for the program before it transitioned to Central Alabama Community College in 1995.

According to Amy Price, Chief Nursing/Operating Officer of Coosa Valley Medical Center, “We are so proud of the work that CACC is doing with their SON. This program is built on a strong tradition of excellence and is the main pipeline for the future of nursing here at CVMC. We are proud of the work Jeff Lynn and Dr. Steele are doing to produce high quality nursing graduates and we value our partnership with them.”

Glen Sisk, President and CEO of CVMC, also highlights the strong relationship that exists between the nursing program and Coosa Valley Medical Center. Sisk emphasizes that relationship by noting that “Coosa Valley Medical Center (CVMC) has maintained a long-standing relationship with the Central Alabama Community College (CACC) School of Nursing dating back to the early 1950’s. The program has produced competent, caring LPN’s and RN’s for decades that have been the cornerstone of caring for CVMC and the patients our organization serves. There are few higher professional callings than a commitment to meet people at their point of need at the bedside. Our region is very fortunate to realize the many benefits that the CACC School of Nursing produces, but most especially the impact their graduates have on lives every day.”

Russell Medical Center in Alexander City is also a critical partner for the Coosa Valley School of Nursing. As nursing leader, Sarah Beth Gettys, VP of Patient Services, states, “We have enjoyed being a part of their learning process, and have also depended on them as a source for nurses in our workforce. Many of the leaders today and through the years have started their careers with the Sylacauga School of Nursing, now CACC School of Nursing. Jim Peace, President and CEO, goes on to note, “Russell Medical is blessed to have had such a close relationship with Central Alabama School of Nursing program for many years. It is through that long relationship that many of our leaders today are created with earning their education. To have such a devoted and committed program nursing program in our area is priceless. Thank you for growing our care givers of today and the future.”

Other essential partnerships exist with long term care communities. As Christopher Schmidt, owner of Schmidt Wallace Healthcare, notes, “the CACC nursing program has provided skilled and qualified nurses to provide care and attention to our medically compromised residents. The quality of their graduates has encouraged us to scholarship many nurses to attend CACC with great success.” Thomas Gilliland of Prime Management also states, “their contribution has not only helped to preserve and promote quality of care that we can offer but also provide a great opportunity for nursing students to achieve their career goals as well as a benefit of bettering the community at large.”

“We understand and appreciate the importance of our healthcare professionals maybe more than ever with what we all have endured with the Covid-19 pandemic,” Jeff Lynn, president of CACC stated.

“We have strong partnerships with our healthcare providers throughout our service area, and we are dedicated to the continuation of outstanding healthcare education here at CACC.”

Partnerships with area hospitals and long-term care facilities who are critical to the continue excellence of the nursing program. As patients have always been the first priority of healthcare, the Coosa Valley School of Nursing continues to grow and will always focus on educating excellent nurses and future nurse leaders for the next 100 years.

For further information please contact Brett Pritchard at 256-215-4254 or