HAMLET — Richmond Community College’s Associate Degree Nursing Class of 2017 achieved a 100 percent passing rate on the NCLEX standardized exam, indicating all 28 graduates have been properly prepared to become registered nurses.
While the previous classes haven’t been far off the mark (89 percent in 2015 and 90 percent in 2016), Nursing Department Chair Janet Sims was proud to make this announcement at the college’s Board of Trustees meeting on Tuesday.
“We made some changes in the program that include more faculty support, more facilitated support activities on students’ days off from class and a focused review group to prep for the NCLEX test,” Sims said. “Our students are definitely stepping up, and our faculty members are doing many things to support their learning to continue these high passing rates.”
The Practical Nursing program has also had high passing rates on the NCLEX exam the last three years: 90 percent, 100 percent and 100 percent.
RichmondCC and FirstHealth have been in discussion about creating a simulation facility at the Moore Regional Hospital-Hamlet, which is adjacent to RichmondCC’s main campus in Hamlet.
“Our students always say they need more hands-on opportunities, so this simulation hospital would greatly benefit our nursing students,” Sims said.
Having clinical experience with lifelike robotic simulators allows students to learn from mistakes without causing harm to real-life patients. RichmondCC’s nursing labs are currently equipped with six simulators, including one that simulates childbirth.
“Student nurses develop a stronger ability for sound clinical decision-making after having simulated experiences that provide an opportunity to practice in a safe environment,” Sims said.
RichmondCC’s Nursing Department will be applying this spring to the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing for a specialized national accreditation that would make nurses coming out of the program more marketable. Also, it would allow the nursing department to use simulation in 50 percent of clinicals. Currently, the North Carolina Board of Nursing limits the use of simulation in clinicals to 25 percent of the 96 hours per semester.
“Having use of a simulation hospital right next door to our campus would not only expand our clinical opportunities, but it would reduce travel time to clinicals for our students and eliminate some of the scheduling challenges,” said Dr. Dale McInnis, president of RichmondCC. “The ACEN accreditation combined with a simulation hospital would allow us to grow the number of students we admit into our nursing programs, while also maintaining the high quality of nurses we’re graduating.”
Sims said the nursing department is excited about the possibilities that lie ahead for their students and the community.
“This simulation facility would have a positive impact on our community by providing more nurses to care for the people of our community in a variety of health care settings,” she said.