Highland Nursing Programs Teach for Successpublished March 7, 2014
Highland Nursing Programs Teach for Success
Faculty with the Highland Community College nursing program, located at the Technical Center in Atchison, use ”Teach for Success” as their motto, and, judging by the pass rates of their students, they are living up to that motto. According to figures compiled by the program, led by Cynthia Jacobson, MSN, RN, 90 percent of Highland nursing graduates seeking to become a Registered Nurse (RN) successfully passed the RN-National Council Licensure Examination (RN-NCLEX) the first time. This exceeds the 2013 national passing rate of 81.43 percent as reported by the National Council of State Boards of Nursing. Highland nursing students seeking to become a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) in 2013 had a first time pass rate of 91.6 percent, compared to the national average of 84.63 percent.
Jacobson noted that the Highland nursing faculty identify students immediately who show signs of needing assistance in academics or managing the challenges of an accelerated program. “While nursing is a caring profession, nursing is a science-based profession that requires that students have a firm grasp of fundamentals before proceeding to the higher levels of the skill set needed by nurses to be successful. We set out to provide our students with the support they need to acquire that solid base, which will then serve them well as they proceed in the program and their nursing career.”
The Highland Community College nursing programs are accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. The Kansas State Board of Nursing also approves the nursing programs and the number of students each nursing program in the state can accept.
There are two nursing opportunities at Highland Community College – the practical nurse (PN) program and the Associate Degree in Nursing: LPN to RN Completion Program (where LPN’s can become a Registered Nurse). The Highland PN program is approved for 40 students and the RN program for 20 students. In addition, part of the effort to prepare students for the world of work and meet goals the state of Kansas has set for having a trained workforce resulted in having a Kansas Certificate for Workforce Readiness (KCWR). Jacobson pointed out that 39 of 39 students in the 2013-14 PN program obtained the KCWR this past fall, and 35/35 of the LPN’s and 19/20 of the RN’s obtained satisfactory ratings in the College’s own Common Learning Outcomes.
All 20 students who were accepted in the RN program graduated in 2013, and these are the students who achieved a 90 percent pass rate on the licensure exam. Program graduates also experienced an increase in gaining improved employment within six months of graduation – 95 percent of the graduates are now employed, a figure which pleases not only Jacobson and her staff, but also state officials who are pushing for increased efforts to prepare a highly qualified technical workforce.
Jacobson points out that taking their motto to heart has had a positive influence on student achievement and subsequently, student success. Even with the glowing results to date, Jacobson and the other nursing faculty are still looking to improve the programs. With the rate of change in healthcare today, it is essential for nursing programs to stay on top of advancements in medicine and nursing.