Anderson Oconee Pickens
release prepared by the Office of Public Relations and Marketing.
Rebecca Eidson, Director, 646-1507, email@example.com
Lisa Garrett, Public Relations Associate, 646-1506, firstname.lastname@example.org
Tri-County’s Nursing Graduates Exceed State, National Records on the National Council Licensing Exams
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 4/17/2008
CONTACT: JANET FULLER, 646-1343
PENDLETON --- Tri-County Technical College’s Associate Degree Nursing (ADN) and Practical Nursing (LPN) graduates have exceeded State and national records on the National Council Licensing Exams, with ADN grads being the top scorers among the Upstate’s two- and four-year colleges.
The 2007 graduates of Tri-County’s ADN program report a 94 percent pass rate. South Carolina colleges’ average passing rate is 87 percent and the national average is 85 percent.
Tri-County’s Practical Nursing grads report a 96.88 percent pass rate while the State reports a 96 percent rate and national figures are at 87 percent.
The State Board of Nursing released these statistics about graduates from January through December 2007.
Graduates of associate or baccalaureate nursing programs must pass the NCLEX- RN exam to become a registered nurse in the state. The NCLEX exams for both Practical Nursing and Associate Degree Nursing programs are computerized exams that test a graduate’s basic nursing knowledge and decision-making ability on commonly encountered health-care situations.
Tri-County’s Nursing Department Head Janet Fuller attributes both programs’ successes to a commitment from students and faculty. “Faculty work with individual students to help them to be successful. They realize that community college education is different for each student, many of whom have jobs and family responsibilities, in addition to classes,” said Fuller.
Another major impact was in the success of the LPN to Professor grant the College received several years ago from the Duke Endowment. This funding enabled four area hospitals (AnMed Health, Cannon Memorial Hospital, Oconee Medical Center and Palmetto Health Baptist – Easley) to join forces with Clemson University and Tri-County to address the future shortage of nurses in the workplace and nursing faculty within Anderson, Oconee and Pickens counties.
The grant allowed Tri-County to add nursing faculty members and one Health Education Division-dedicated admissions counselor. The additional faculty allowed Tri-County to launch a January admission for the associate degree Nursing program, giving students more educational flexibility. “We’ve added a December graduating class through this LPN to Professor initiative. We have two graduating classes (May and December) with 45 – 50 per class, therefore increasing our graduates by 100 percent,” Fuller said.
She noted that Kay Rhodes (who serves as the Health Education Division-dedicated admissions counselor) is working with the ADN students to help with curricular choices. “She helps them to be wiser in their choice of classes. This one-to-one advising is key in student success. It makes a big difference with our pre-nursing students. They can be realistic and successful.”
The clinical experiences that both curricula require prepare students to function at an entry-level nurse position, said Fuller. During the final semester, students work in an advanced clinical situation with a nurse preceptor for 120 hours in a seven-week course, which boosts their competence and confidence levels in a clinical setting, she said. “This gives them a chance to apply and to integrate what they have learned in both the classroom and the clinical arena,” she said.
The job market is strong for both ADN and LPN grads, she added. “We have 100 percent job placement for both. The bottom line is we are admitting more students, retaining more students and graduating more students,” said Fuller.
Tri-County’s nursing departments are fully accredited by the State Board of Nursing in South Carolina and the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission.