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Carrington College Blog

Campus Spotlight – Reno, Nevada

December 10, 2012

Reno CampusSitting 452 miles to the north-west of Las Vegas, Nevada, is the city of Reno – the self-proclaimed ‘Biggest Little City in the World!’  With a population of more than 225,000, Reno is the largest city in Northern Nevada. Located in Washoe County, the city nestles on the eastern slope of the Sierra Nevada Mountains in an area called the Truckee Meadows. Beautiful Lake Tahoe and the largest concentration of ski facilities in the world are all within a fifty-mile radius.

The city is also home to 278 Carrington College students and 45 staff at our 15,000 square foot Reno campus. Located close to the center of the city in a building that was built in 2009, Reno is one of two Carrington College campuses in the ‘Silver State’ (Las Vegas).  We spent some time with Michael Como, Executive Director of the Reno campus, to find out more about the campus.

The Reno campus offers students three health care programs – an Associate of Science degree program in Registered Nursing Certificate and Associate degree programs in Medical Assisting, and the recently added Medical Billing & Coding Certificate program.

“Our Registered Nursing program makes up about 75% of our student population currently. Nursing was the first program at this campus three years ago; we added Medical Assisting not too long after, and we just added Medical Billing & Coding this past August.”

When a new program is introduced to a community, it takes time to build the student population. But Medical Billing & Coding (MBC) is an excellent program with a bright future.

“MBC is definitely a great program that we’re looking to build in the coming years; we have a small group of students currently but they are doing very well so far, and we have high hopes for it.”

Although one of our smaller campuses, the Reno campus is a very well equipped facility, and offers our students a quality environment in which they can learn and practice their health care skills.

“I’m very proud of our facilities. We don’t have the space that some of the larger Carrington campuses have, but we do have two high-tech Sim Labs. Two hospital rooms equipped with Meti-Sim Human Patient Simulators [simulation manikins] and other medical equipment, with debriefing rooms attached to them.”

Located right in the heart of Reno, very close to the mall, restaurants and stores, and just off Highway 395, access is very good for students who travel to the campus from all over the region.

“Most of our students come from Reno, Sparks or Carson City – which are the three main cities around here. But we also have students come in from further east, from Fernley which is east of Sparks, and some who travel from as far as South Lake Tahoe, CA. That’s a good 60 miles away, about an hour and fifteen minute drive each way, so those students car pool whenever they can!”

Our Carrington College campuses always try to be vibrant members of their local communities, getting involved for the benefit of students and the local population; Reno is no different as Michael explains.

“We’re very involved with the State Nursing Board, and the Nevada Nurses Association; there are a lot of events throughout the year that our nursing students and faculty are involved with. We also get involved with events at our local hospitals, and we work closely with our local Chamber education committee. We try to do everything we can to give our students exposure to the community, and the opportunity to hone their skills.

We host Open Houses – in October we had ‘Operation Health Care’ where we invited the public to come in for vital checks, blood pressure checks, etc. A lot of what we do is to try to educate the community.

We also help our local food bank, we do blood drives, and there are other numerous community events throughout the year; we just had a number of students and faculty complete the ‘Race for the Cure’.”

Just for fun to help keep things light on campus, the staff members organize a variety of events and initiatives. Simple events like ‘dress down & donate’, student picnics, and ‘spirit week’ help students have fun and stay motivated.

“This past Halloween we had our last spirit week; we had a different theme every day of the week where students dressed in that theme. We had a pajama day, a blue and gold day, a sports day, a vintage t-shirt day, a jeans day – just to mix things up for students and keep it fun!”

For his part Michael admits that he is much happier operating in the background as an administrator, rather than getting involved in the practical health care side of things.

“Our Medical Assisting students regularly practice drawing blood on each other, and they ask me almost every night to act as a patient for them, but strangely I always seem to be busy! I don’t like needles, but their goal is get me one day! I tell them – ‘good luck with that!’ “

While there are certain things that Michael understandably can’t share with us, he is very excited about the future of the Carrington College Reno campus.

“We’re always looking for new opportunities to expand and improve, but behind everything we do, or plan to do, are the incredible faculty and phenomenal staff that we have here in Reno.

Our people are very involved in their fields; they are members of different boards, committees and organizations related to their specialties; they really are an outstanding resource for our students. I really can’t stress how great our people are.

In fact we won the first annual Carrington Cup this year – that’s the ‘Campus of the Year’ award, competing against the other ten Carrington College campuses. We’re very proud of this big cup! It’s testament to the quality of our faculty and staff, and all facets of our operation here in Reno.”  

Thanks for your time Michael. If you have friends or family in the Reno area who might like to learn more about our northern Nevada campus and the programs available there, share this blog post with them or have them visit


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