Grays Harbor College Celebrates Nurses Week

Posted on: May, 8, 2023

Grays Harbor College Celebrates Nurses Week

GHC celebrates the alumni, students, and educators who serve the healthcare needs of our community! 

In honor of National Nurses Week, May 6-12, Grays Harbor College would like to recognize the GHC alumni who serve our community as nurses, the students who aspire to become nurses, and the educators who train future nurses to serve the healthcare needs of our community with compassion and skill.

GHC’s nursing program is led by Carol O’Neal, the Associate Dean of Nursing. Throughout her career, O’Neal estimates that she has trained more than 650 nurses. “I care a lot about the health of Grays Harbor,” she said. “This is my passion.”

Today, O’Neal has the opportunity to work alongside GHC nursing grads. According to O’Neal, GHC takes a “grow our own” approach with nursing instructors; she has trained three of GHC’s nursing instructors herself. The nursing program and its instructors provide a top-tier education with a broad range of experience in the classroom, at local healthcare facilities, and using state-of-the-art simulation technology.

This year, GHC received a $487,000 grant to upgrade the equipment used in its simulation labs to ensure that students receive the best possible training. The simulation labs were recently updated to feature more diversity amongst the models. Newborn and geriatric models were also added to the lab.

In addition to the simulation labs, nursing students practice their skills at local and regional facilities, including Harbor Regional Health, Summit Pacific Medical Center, Western State Hospital, and Mary Bridge Children's Hospital. Nursing students are also able to gain experience by providing services that address critical needs in the community. For example, in 2020, GHC’s nursing students administered more than 4,000 Covid-19 vaccines at mass vaccination clinics in Grays Harbor. This kind of hands-on experience not only benefits the community, but it also prepares nursing students with the knowledge, skills, and attitude necessary to provide high-quality patient care.

Last year, GHC’s nursing program saw a 95% pass rate when students took the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX). Graduates often obtain jobs at local and regional hospitals, or go on to complete bachelor’s programs at four-year schools. After graduating from GHC, nursing students only need one more year at a university in Washington State in order to complete their bachelor’s degree, which is the recognized degree of a professional nurse.

To learn more about GHC’s nursing program, visit or call (360) 538-4244.