Rappahannock Community College’s associate-degree nursing program has recently been acclaimed as the most successful such program at any of the Commonwealth of Virginia’s 23 community colleges, according to the web site registerednursing.org. In addition, it has very nearly achieved the same standing among all 49 of the state’s associate and bachelor degree nursing programs.
RCC ranks second in this group, falling behind only the Bon Secours Memorial College of Nursing, but ahead of Radford, JMU, Liberty, VCU, and several other four-year universities.
Standings are based on the percentage of graduates of each program who go on to pass the state licensure exam (NCLEX-RN); this exam is required for qualification to become a registered nurse. A number of factors are taken into consideration when calculating scores for each institution, with current statistics carrying more weight than historical data. RCC’s score was 96.85 out of 100.
Registerednursing.org is made up of registered nurses who “care deeply about the profession” and try to “promote excellence in nursing through enabling future nurses with the tools they need to succeed.” One of these tools is information that will allow future nurses to select the best nursing program available. The organization feels that a program’s NCLEX pass rate is one of the best ways of determining how well it prepares its students for a career in nursing.
One of these tools is information that will allow future nurses to select the best nursing program available. The organization feels that a program’s NCLEX pass rate is one of the best ways of determining how well it prepares its students for a career in nursing.
RCC program head Ellen Koehler states, however, “This ranking is a moving target, because there are many other ways to evaluate our program, not just numbers and pass rates. It’s how we meet our students’ needs. How we serve our community. That number may not stay forever. At this point in time, we know that we’re doing our very, very best. That shows over several years of analysis in this one particular area.”
She adds, “Every school wants to be successful. Every school is trying to do their best … and they chase these licensure pass rate numbers all the time. But what we do that’s a little bit different, in my experience, is that we do it with a lot of heart. We really have heart in what we are doing. It’s precious to all of us for that reason because we live in the community that we serve.”