Cerro Coso Welcomes New Nursing Professor Lisa Balk

Lisa Balk

Cerro Coso Community College welcomes new Associate Professor of Nursing Lisa Balk to the college.  

Born in Maryland, Balk a military wife, has lived the military life and spent time in San Diego, Rhode Island, and Maryland when her husband was active-duty Navy. 

She moved to Ridgecrest in 2016 when her husband took a job at China Lake. 

Balk has a real heart for animals and worked many years as a veterinary assistant while pursuing a career in nursing. “I have had a wide variety of nursing positions but always loved the teaching aspects of each,” she said. “In Maryland, I taught in an Associate of Nursing program at the community college where I took my prerequisites for my bachelor's degree.” 

Balk and her husband have a son that lives and works in Ridgecrest and a daughter in the Los Angeles area training horses. She has two rescue cats, enjoys working with the Guide Dogs for the Blind, and is currently raising her fourth puppy. He accompanies her to work at the college some days, enjoying all that the campus has to offer. 

Balk holds a Bachelor's in Nursing from Stevenson University, and a Master's of Science in Health Science, Leadership and Management with an Education Focus from the University of Maryland School of Nursing. Welcome, Lisa! 

Cerro Coso's Vocational Nursing Program is an intensive program totaling 1,662 hours which prepares students to take the licensure examination provided by the National Council of State Board of Nursing (NCLEX-PN). Approved by the Board of Vocational Nursing and Psychiatric Technicians, the college offers two Vocational Nursing pathways a Certificate of Achievement and an Associate in Science Degree. 

Nurses are in high demand and job opportunities for nurses vary widely. Employment of licensed practical and licensed vocational nurses is projected to grow 9 percent from 2020 to 2030, about as fast as the average for all occupations, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics Sept 21. About 60,700 openings for licensed practical and licensed vocational nurses are projected each year, on average, over the decade. Many of those openings are expected to result from the need to replace workers who transfer to different occupations or exit the labor force, such as to retire.

Now registering for spring 2022 classes, all those interested in a career in nursing are encouraged to contact the College Counseling Department at (760) 384-6219 in Ridgecrest or (760) 872-1565 in Bishop.

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