The 2012 Associate Degree Nursing graduates at Richmond Community College have posted a 97 percent passage rate on the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN). Of the 36 graduates taking the exam, 35 passed the first time they took it.
“We are very excited and pleased with their success,” said Carole Gibson, RCC Nursing Department Chair. “They graduated in May and 26 already have jobs. Their success demonstrates the quality of our program and the commitment of the faculty and staff who work day and night to get the students to this point.”
Gibson said this is the first class to graduate under a new concept-based curriculum where the instructor is more of a facilitator of learning and the student carries the responsibility of learning. Different strategies were developed to meet the goals of the program.
“We have always addressed the needs of students with different learning styles, but to better serve students, we introduced simulations into the clinical components of every course,” said Nursing Professor Linda King. “Every student may not see a live birth delivery during their clinical rotation, but the simulation manikin allows them to experience a delivery.”
Nursing Professor Sue Wagner teaches second-year students and spends long days in clinical with them.
“We have developed strategies that are student-centered and engage them in the learning process,” said Wagner. “It facilitates learning more than traditional lectures do. We have also incorporated an online testing program which continually reinforces principles taught in the classroom and lab, while preparing students for the national exam. It keeps students exposed to the concepts learned throughout their two years of study.”
Students have a broad array of clinical experiences including hospitals, long-term care facilities, hospice, and home health agencies. Sandhills Regional Medical Center Chief Nursing Officer Pam Harrison welcomes the opportunity to participate as a clinical site.
“The passage rate is terrific news,” Harrison said. “We love having students here from RCC. They are always prepared and work diligently. They always fit right in with our nurses, who are very appreciative of what they do.”
Allison Duckworth, First Health/Richmond Memorial Hospital Chief Operating Officer and Nurse Executive, said they also value their partnership with RCC.
“Over 90 percent of our new nurses are RCC graduates who successfully transitioned from school into professional practice,” she said. “We like being a host site for clinicals and enjoy having the opportunity to meet each cohort. We’re happy for their success. We also like the work RCC has done with senior institutions to make it possible for graduates to continue their education at the bachelor’s degree level.”
According to Scotland Memorial Hospital Clinical Educator Lisa Dial Hunt, almost half of their new hires for this year are RCC graduates. They, too, appreciate the opportunity to be a clinical site and are impressed with the passage rate.
“RCC has high standards and expectations for their students,” said Hunt. “When we hire graduates, it is often those grads who performed their 120-hour preceptor program here at Scotland Memorial. When they come to work with us, they are familiar with our institution and transition well. We especially like the fact they are from our communities and are familiar with the population we serve. That means our patients feel comfortable with someone they can relate to and respect.”