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CWC Nursing Alumnus Attributes Success to Foundations Learned at CWC

May 3, 2021 by Tori Stanek

portrait of CWC alumnus Mitch Long

Central Wyoming College’s nursing program allowed Mitch Long to jumpstart his career as a registered nurse (RN).

After rising to the level of  Chief Executive Officer at Northwest OB-GYN in Spokane, Washington, Long said his early career experiences still inform his administrative practices and he looks back on his time at CWC with gratitude. 

“I would not be working as a Chief Executive Officer today if I had not taken the step to enroll in the Central Wyoming nursing program,” he said. “Every day I believe that Central Wyoming College helped me achieve career goals I never dreamed possible.”

Prior to his graduation in 1996, Long lived in Riverton and decided he wanted to attend the nursing program based on its reputation.

I wanted to be in healthcare and the CWC nursing program was ranked very high in the nation for ADN programs. ”

Mitch Long, CWC nursing alumnus

While in the program, Long benefited greatly from former instructors like Nancy Larson. 

Long said Larson, his anatomy and physiology instructor, had a unique teaching style that made a memorable contribution to the program. 

“Nancy had a knack for being fair and holding students accountable,” he said. “She had a very keen way of teaching anatomy and physiology and inspired confidence to achieve and learn. I will never forget her.”

Larson hasn’t forgotten Long either. She said his strong code of ethics set him up for success in the field.

“Mitch was kind, helpful, courteous and encouraged his fellow students,” Larson said. ”I knew that he would be an asset to his profession and the world in general. He was an outstanding person and student.“

Long also recalls the strong influence of his former nursing instructor, Vicki Ferris. 

“Vicki could take a student under her wing and help them to feel they could be successful,” he said.

Long completed the program and was honored as the guest speaker during the 1996 pinning ceremony. He attributes a large part of this success to Larson and Ferris.

“I owe a huge debt of gratitude to both of these professors,” he said.

After graduating and passing the national licensure exam, Long worked as a circulating RN  in the operating room (OR) in the Lander hospital. He eventually transferred to the Riverton OR for two more years before switching his area of specialty to dialysis. From there, Long began to travel.

“I started in the dialysis industry with Wind River Dialysis in Lander, later transferred to Portland, Oregon and worked as a clinic manager for a dialysis company called Renal Care Group,” he said. “I later transferred to Alaska with the same company where my position was director of operations.”

While in Alaska, Long was responsible for all dialysis services in the state. He also used this time to obtain his Bachelor of Science in Health Care Administration. Soon after he graduated, Long relocated to Spokane Washington, where he currently works at the top level of Northwest OB-GYN. Long said his early career and education laid a critical foundation for this work.

“Every day I am grateful for the opportunity to become dual degreed,” he said. “I understand the challenges faced by nurses and physicians, which has helped me to make sound financial and quality of care decisions.“