PLATTSBURGH — Recent graduates of Clinton Community College’s Nursing Program have proven not only that they can pass their courses but that they can meet national competency standards.
The college recently announced that its nursing class of 2012, comprising 40 graduates, achieved a 100 percent pass rate on the National Council Licensure Examination State Board of Nursing Licensing Exam.
The test, which nursing graduates must pass in order to continue working as registered nurses, measures the skill levels needed to perform safely and effectively in the field.
FOURTH YEAR IN A ROW
The accomplishment marks the fourth consecutive year in which Clinton Community nursing graduates have posted a pass rate on the exam well above those of the state and the country.
In 2009, 2010 and 2011, the college achieved pass rates between 94.3 and 97.1 percent. State and national pass rates ranged from 84.3 to 87.6 percent during that time.
“We always exceed the state and the national norms,” said Dr. Kathleen Kasprzak, director of nursing at Clinton Community.
”We’re very pleased with that.”
Kasprzak credited the success of the program to the hard work of students and faculty, as well as the support of the college’s administrators and clinical-site staff.
”Our outstanding faculty and staff are helping to ensure that Clinton County has a steady stream of top-notch registered nurses to meet the health-care needs of our community,” Clinton Community College President John Jablonski said in a statement.
The college, Kasprzak told the Press-Republican, trains its students not only to be bedside nurses but also to be critical thinkers who are often promoted to leadership positions.
“The Clinton Nursing Program has supplied the majority of the (registered nurse) workforce locally, and I think that our track record will speak for the vital role we play in our health-care system,” she said.
“We have a longstanding reputation for competence and excellence in nursing practice, and our graduates are recognized, as well, for being patient centered.”
One of the program’s May 2012 graduates, Mike Recore, now works as a registered nurse at CVPH Medical Center. He said his time studying at the college was both intense and valuable.
“I think the Clinton program speaks for itself, and I say that because they put you to the test each and every week, clinically and in the classroom, and it prepares you mentally to be nurse.”
The quality of the college’s program is especially important now. With the economy improving, Kasprzak said, many nurses and nurse educators are opting to retire.
“We feel that with this nursing shortage on the horizon, it’s important for us to be contributing a pool of very well educated (nurses) into the workforce every two years,” she said.
Kasprzak added that the Institute of Medicine’s national initiative to have 80 percent of all nurses in the United States have bachelor’s degrees by 2020 has caused some hospitals, including CVPH Medical Center, to increase the number of nurses they hire with four-year, as opposed to two-year, degrees.
Clinton Community College, she said, is working with CVPH and SUNY Plattsburgh to ensure that CCC nursing graduates can make a seamless transition into the nursing program at SUNY Plattsburgh.
“I believe that local employers will continue to value the Clinton graduates who recognize the importance of continuing development and who are pursuing the bachelor of science in nursing degree,” Kasprzak said.
Email Ashleigh Livingston: