GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – Pitt Community College is expanding its efforts to address a nursing shortage in the East.

The school bought four new and advanced patient simulators for students to safely practice their skills, and it’s grown the number of clinical sites for students.

Nursing instructor Lynne Braxton, MSN, RN, said the goal is to train the best nurses for hospitals like Vidant Medical Center.

“The nurses that come out of the PCC program are some of the finest,” Braxton said. “We work very closely with Vidant Medical Center so that we are aware of what their needs are and we can prime and prepare our students to meet those needs.”

In the past two years, almost 150 PCC nursing graduates were hired by Vidant.

The number of hires is expected to grow as 83 nursing students, including Ann Yelverton, prepare to graduate in the spring.

“You have to have the compassion and the passion to be in this field,” Yelverton said.