WINSTED — Plans here to create a nursing program at Northwestern Connecticut Community College gained momentum when Washington lawmakers in the House and Senate approved $350,000 in federal appropriations money in separate votes over the last couple of days. The legislation now sits on the desk of President Barack Obama, who has already said he’d sign the federal spending bill. Rep. John Rigby hailed the news, joining local and federal officials in explaining the significant impact the program would have on the local economy and the Northwest Corner job market. Rigby, of Colebrook, has been a strong proponent of creating the program at NCCC, even crafting legislation this year that sought to have the school apply for federal stimulus money. College officials have sought to build a nursing program in Winsted to address the statewide shortage of nurses as well as a dearth of Northwest Corner training opportunities for people interested in the profession. At present, students must drive far outside the area for such courses — if they’re able to get a seat. Rigby’s bill earlier this year allowed the college to apply for a spot on the list of projects eligible for federal stimulus money set aside for Connecticut. The school, through a private capital campaign, has raised nearly $1 million on its own but needs more money for its efforts to create a nursing lab, hire faculty and pay for other operational expenses. Rigby in March saw the Higher Education committee give unanimous support to his proposal, and both the state Senate and House passed the bill.