Tag Archives: Nursing

Allied Health Open House Welcomes 80 Potential Students. Feb 24, 2014

On Feb 24th, Bakersfield College’s Allied Health department, which houses nursing, radiologic technology, and EMT education programs, held an open house with visiting high school students from Arvin High School and East High School. Both of these schools have health academies, which do preliminary training for students who know early on that they wish to seek a health career. About 80 students attended the event, which was made possible by an SB 70 grant and donations of supplies from several Bakersfield College departments.

The event kicked off at 9:00 AM in Renegade Park with a warm welcome talk by Cindy Collier, Dean of Allied Health/Nursing. From there, the students split into 3 groups and headed off to different demonstrations.

One group stayed at Renegade Park for a spirited talk by RN Nursing Department Chair Jennifer Johnson. She advised the students on the importance of taking more than the required math and science classes in high school to better succeed in college, and also informally shared her personal experiences in studying for and working within the Nursing profession.

A second group headed over to the Math&Science building to the “Allied Health Skills Lab” to see demonstrations on medical mannequins used by Nursing students to gain experience with techniques, and try them out firsthand using stethoscopes to listen to artificial heartbeats and breathing rhythms. There were other medical mannequins as well – one of them could cough and retch in an unexpectedly realistic way. But it was “venipuncture” that elicited the most enthusiasm and interest, however, both from the brave few that volunteered to try it out, and their classmates who watched earnestly.

The third group went to the Radiologic Technology Lab in MS21 for demonstrations by volunteer “RadTech” students. Morgan Dang showed a group of students from Arvin High School how to perform X-Rays of patients’ torsos. Students got to experience first-hand what a patient would experience.  Students also learned about all of the safety methods Rad Technicians practice – including wearing the same lead-lined aprons that technicians wear when performing X-Rays. Robert Perez explained specific machines while walking students through various safety procedures, like wearing RadTechs goggles.

All three groups of students reassembled at Renegade Park to have lunch provided by the BC Culinary Students. The various tables were abuzz with conversation, laughter, and excitement. East High Senior Kevin shared that while he originally was not sure if he was really going to pursue a career in the medical field, going through the open house changed his mind. Both students and teachers seemed extremely pleased with the outcome of the day.

Harvey Hall and AmbulanceThe event concluded with a driver from Hall Ambulance talking to the students after lunch. He spoke on his initial interest in operating an ambulance, and shared his experiences pursuing training and the various highlights of his career and gave them advice he’d learned along the way.  Thank you Mayor Harvey Hall for your continued support of BC in multiple ways.

In the end, this was truly an amazing event. Organizers of the event, including CTE Advisor Pamela Gomez and Allied Health/C6 Advisor Dinorah Castro, acknowledged all the people who made the event an amazing success, including Cindy Collier, Jennifer Johnson, Nancy Perkins, Nancy Mai, David Taylor from Hall Ambulance, Gabi Martin, Carol Harrison, Sandy Davis, Ann-Marie Michalski, Christine Dunn, Pam Gomez, and Antonio Alfaro. Special thanks go to students Aisha Hassan, Harjet Kaur, Brianne Muirhead, Janelle Digilio, Marben Foronda, Morgan Dang and Robert Perez, and to Dinorah’s daughter, Natalie, who is in high school and provided event coordination efforts!

Great work, team!

Education and Industry in Partnership Through Grants: A Focus on C6

cindy collier with grandkids

Dean Cindy Collier–Institutional Lead for the C6 grant. Relaxing with her grand kids

Bakersfield College is one of ten community colleges participating in the Central California Community Colleges Committed to Change (C6) consortium. The C6 grant supports the education of students in key areas:

  • Ag/Manufacturing
  • Welding
  • Electronics
  • Registered Nursing
  • Vocational Nursing
  • Licensed Vocational to Registered Nursing
  • Nurse Assistant
  • Home Health Aide
  • Radiologic Technology
  • Computerized Technology

Using a series of academic and student success strategies, Bakersfield College has transformed how we educate students in these programs, but more importantly, integrated our strategies across our campus for the benefit of all programs and disciplines.

Students come to the C6 project in a variety of ways:

  • targeted recruitment in local high school CTE programs
  • engagement with our advisory boards
  • selective enrollment in high demand programs
  • volunteering in general enrollment courses
Programmable Logic Controller

Bakersfield College student works with the wiring he upgraded on the Programmable Logic Controller.

Once enrolled, students take the WorkKeys Assessment, which is an industry-specific assessment tool that examines the student’s abilities in reading, mathematics, and locating information. When necessary, students are referred to the Student Success Lab for remediation. However, CTE programs are high content areas and many of the programs have been compressed into shorter timelines. As a result, CTE faculty have been taught how to embed remediation into the courses. To make this possible, Basic Skills faculty observed classroom instruction, reviewed syllabi, evaluated WorkKeys scores, discussed learning deficiencies, and designed specific instructional materials focusing on specific skills like contextualized math, reading apprenticeship, note taking, test taking strategies and much, much more. In addition to the in-class embedded remediation strategies, Basic Skills faculty offered workshops for students and professional development seminars for faculty.

C6 Nursing Group

C6 grant. Nursing.

To support the program, faculty have spent countless hours outside of the classroom collaborating with the other colleges involved in the consortium on curriculum development and revision, creation of online coursework, development of instructional material, redesign of instructional labs, and the sharing of best instructional practices. Through this effort, faculty have realigned curriculum to better meet industry standards. This required hours of telephone conferences and meetings with consortium colleges and industry partners, then the effort to usher courses through collegiate, state, and accrediting agency approval processes.

Jennifer Johnson

Jennifer Johnson from nursing developed an OER



The faculty have also participated in “hack-a-thons” – intensive 2-3 day Open Educational Resources (OER) designing meetings. Bakersfield College is currently using OERs in the LVN to RN, Welding, Nurse Assistant, and RN programs. OERs are expected to support students through less expensive and more useful course supplements. Inspired by this ongoing effort, consortium faculty involved in Basic Skills are currently in the process of developing an OER for faculty use as a guide for embedding remediation strategies into any course.

But the work of C6 hasn’t just occurred in the classroom, the college is now in the process of redesigning our Early Alert system. Through the use of grant dollars, the college was able to purchase equipment, which will combine with our current student support software to enhance our ability to track “at-risk” students. Students engaged with the C6 program will pilot the redesigned Early Alert system. Supporting that effort is secondary student case management strategies focusing on best practices learned through STEM and MESA. These strategies incorporate student case management, supplemental instruction, and peer tutoring.


eileen pierce

Eileen Pierce developed an OER on teaching embedded study skills



As the grant project enters the 3rd year, Bakersfield College continues to support and thrive to excel for change. C6 has allowed Bakersfield College to integrate our processes and through the continuing efforts of faculty, industry partners and administration, the college will continue to enhance student success through effective change.

RN–Renegade Nurse. Dec 12, 2013

Nursing graduation Dec 12 2013

RN graduation Dec 12, 2013

Last night I attended the RN graduation and enjoyed every minute of it.  All the speakers where inspiring–Dean Cindy Collier, Prof. Lisa Harding, and a few students.

Lisa told the students that they should be proud to be a nurse and even more proud to be a BC nurse.  She talked about the tradition of excellence that BC represented over 100 years as well as the qualities of the Renegade Knight.  And her signature phrase was telling the students that every time they write RN after their name they should remember that it stood for more than a “Registered Nurse”  it stood for a “Renegade Nurse”.

Enjoy her speech as much as I did.  Here is an excerpt:

Lisa Harding at the Nursing graduation Dec 12 2013

Prof. Lisa Harding at the Fall 2013 RN graduation

Can you believe it? We made it! You made it!  Let me start by saying:  Welcome to my profession.  To be a nurse is a great honor. This evening represents so many accomplishments. You did it!  There have been so many events and occasions that we have experienced during your time here at BC.  We have celebrated together and we have grieved together.  We have had ups and downs.  But you did it!  This year is a year of celebration. First, because you made it, but also, because we, Bakersfield College are celebrating 100 years!


As you know, David and I traveled to Romania last May.  Both our lives have been changed by that event, but I want to share a quick story about a boy named Vali.

Vali is somewhere between 15-17 years old, he has spent his whole live living in an orphanage. Vali has a mild form of cerebral palsy. He has his intellect, but his muscles do not want to obey his brains command. For his whole life, Vali is told every day that he has no value. Orphans in Romania have no value at all. They are repeatedly beaten, abused, and if you are an orphan with any kind of disability, you are hidden away so no one will see you.  The day I met Vali, I got to walk with him about 1.5 miles to McDonalds Yes, Romania has several McDonalds.  Now, I speak no Romanian, and Vali certainly speaks no English and probably very little Romanian-we made quite a pair. My new friend was so excited to get out of the orphanage and see the world. He was fascinated with all the things he saw as we walkeddown the side walk hand in hand towards The golden arches. As we began our journey, I noticed Vali was waving at everything, ants, bugs people, dogs. Everything he encountered got a wave. It was exciting to see the world through Vali’s eyes. As we joyfully walked along to McDonalds, I noticed a woman coming across the street in a hurried manner, she crossed 4 lanes of busy traffic, walked right up to me and looked at Vali and spit on the ground. She was disgusted that we were out in the open with my new friend.  I felt all the joy and happiness just melt right out of Vali. I was so angry. Well, we managed to get to McDonalds and I saw the joy of a cheeseburger in a new way.  As we walked back,  Vali had a noticeably slower pace, although he continued to soak in his surroundings, He knew we were headed back to the orphanage.  As we neared the orphanage Vali looked up into one of the block apartments near his “home” several stories high. We noticed a woman looking out a window. I was focused on trying to distract Vali so that we did not have another “uncomfortable encounter” when all of a sudden, the woman in the window, blew him a kiss!  I could feel the joy fill his body and it came right through to my hand as I was holding his.- That day, and that sweet woman, unknowingly gave hope to my friend, she used a simple gesture to acknowledge him and make him feel that he was valued.

But lets get back to why we are here tonight.  Now that you have completed this program, you become a part of a distinguished family. This family has had 100 years of tradition. You will soon wear the pin of distinction. You will join those before you who have graduated from Bakersfield College.  So, what does that mean?  To be a part of this great program, it means more than just being able to write the initials RN after your name.

 We are: BC , we are the Bakersfield College Renegades. As I began to explore our last 100 years, I learned that our mascot came with a bit of controversy.  When I first explored our background I thought to myself “what is a Renegade?  Sounding like a bit of a rebel, I wondered, how we could promote that and how could I embrace it?  And then I researched a little more. One definition said: Reject tradition: that is a renegade.  The woman in the window…she is a renegade.

What would Vali say a Renegade was and would he approve of me promoting a bunch of Renegades?

YES, I think he would, in fact, I know he would. He would expect nothing less.   You see, a renegade expresses independence and individuality. To be known as “Bears or Vikings” or any other ridiculous name would be to be known as one among many, but our title is our own.

When you think of a Renegade, what image comes to mind?  At Bakersfield College- our image is that of a knight.  A Knight has a code to live by. This code of chivalry is much like the code of a nurse.

Like the medieval knight, In nursing, we have armor.  Most of the time, the casual observer cannot see it.  Like a knight we come in to the battle armed and ready.  We too, bear armor…….most of you will never see it-Our armor is used to protect others and not ourselves. We are armed with Knowledge, Courage, Justice, Mercy, Generosity, Faith, Nobility and Hope.

Each of these concepts is important in itself, and every one of these virtues is an admirable quality, but when all of them blend together in one person, we discover the value, and power, of Nursing today.


Now we turn to our logo: The Renegade Knight with a black, crestless shield.  During the Crusades of the Middle Ages, the legendary Black Knight typified courage and defiance.  He stood alone and was feared by all.  So we have taken him as our emblem and made the Renegade of B.C. a Renegade Knight—whose shield without crest or device indicates our servitude to no man.  Independent and rugged, the Renegades of the stage and the gridiron stand alone and defiant.

What does Vali think about all this?  If we asked him, what would he say?

He would tell us not to wear your armor out in the open, keep it in your heart and on your mind.  Be who you are meant to be. Be true to yourself, reject tradition set the standard even higher and wave out the window.

You are now a BC Renegade nurse; you will soon sign your name RN.  Many do not know the true meaning, but now we do. As you sign your name followed by RN remember the qualities:

  • Knowledge
  • Courage
  • Justice
  • Mercy
  • Generosity
  • Faith
  • Nobility
  • Hope

RN=Renegade nurse!

BC Featured: Collier Talks Health Care Needs with Assembly Committee

Great long, relaxing weekend.  Right now watching the Trojan-Bruin game and working on this blog about the amazing Cindy Collier.

cindy collierBakersfield College made its presence felt at the recent California Assembly Select Committee on Workforce and Vocational Development, an event facilitated by 32nd district Assemblyman Rudy Salas in Bakersfield. The hearing featured information about health care needs, issues and trends as presented by local and regional experts, including Bakersfield College Dean of Allied Health and Nursing Cindy Collier.



Dean Collier shared that California’s healthcare workforce needs are projected to increase dramatically due to both the population growth as well as the population aging. The increase in people accessing healthcare due to the implementation of the Affordable Care Act will only intensify this need, Collier reported. The issue is compounded because funding for health science education at community colleges and universities—the primary sources for training Allied Health professionals—is inadequate. As a result community colleges like Bakersfield College have limited capacity for training, even though the need in Bakersfield and Kern County for healthcare workers is growing. A lack of qualified faculty to increase offerings in local programs exacerbates the problem.


Dean Collier urged Assemblyman Salas to 1) support more equitable state investment in education programs, 2) consider allowing community colleges to develop classes or programs in which fees paid by a group of students cover the entire cost of the class; 3) provide planning and implementation grants to institutions of higher education focusing on education, training and retention; 4) open more avenues for loan repayment and scholarships; and 5) encourage more public-private partnerships with Allied Health programs.

Political Leaders Nov 2013 at BC

Rudy Salas earlier at BC, on a panel with David Valadao, Shannon Grove, and Jean Fuller. Moderator Cindy Pollard.
Source: Bakersfield Californian

Assemblyman Salas acknowledged Bakersfield College’s critical role in training local healthcare professionals and pledged to continue to consult our knowledgeable faculty and administrators as he crafts legislation to improve the flow of healthcare services to the residents of our communities. Congratulations Dean Collier for representing Bakersfield College and for being a voice speaking on behalf of our students!  And thank you Assemblyman Salas for spotlighting this important issue.

Bakersfield College in Kern Business Journal

Bakersfield College in Kern Business Journal

Amber Chiang

Amber Chiang

Bakersfield College was featured in the April issue of Kern Business Journal for our excellent work in training x-ray technicians and nurses to put to work right here in Kern County. The article, written by our own Amber Chiang, talks about the importance of these specialized training fields, and the students and faculty who work tirelessly to support the community.

If you’ve been in a local hospital or clinic recently, it is likely you’ve met one of our students. They’re the ones in the vibrant red scrubs, wearing a friendly smile, and ready to help you with your health needs.

Look for an upcoming story in the Kern Business Journal on our careers which support Kern’s thriving oil industry!