Cleveland State Community College has completed the 2017 calendar year with a first-time pass-rate that exceeds the 85 percent benchmark on the National Council Licensure Examination. It is anticipated that this success will result in the Tennessee Board of Nursing lifting its sanction that has prohibited the college from enrolling new Nursing Program cohorts since last summer. The board will make an official decision at its meeting Feb. 14-15.
“There is a very good likelihood that our first new cohort will start in the summer,” stated Dr. Bill Seymour, CSCC president. “It will probably be an accelerated program where a student can start in the summer and finish the following summer…Pell grants can now be used in the summer based upon a change with the US Congress this past year which we are really excited about.”
Nancy Thomas, director of nursing, said, “We are still fully approved; we are still fully
accredited. We are just on a conditional status with the board that restricts the start of new
cohorts until we pass the benchmark. Now that we have, we want to get the word out to potential nursing students that they should not hesitate to seek admission here.”
According to Ms. Thomas, the college has taken measures to assist the students through various program and curriculum improvements. A federal grant allowed the college to hire a dedicated tutor specifically for the nursing program to provide individual and group sessions, in addition to the regular attention of faculty, theory advisors and academic advisors. A completion coach was also added to provide support for students when “life issues” impact their success in the program.
There has also been an increase in test preparation, which includes test-taking strategy seminars and test-taking webinars for continued study, as well as mandatory practice NCLEX style tests.
“We had two different consultants, and they looked at everything we do,” stated Ms. Thomas. “We really worked on everything, and we have taken what the consultants recommended very seriously.
“When we start back, we will be implementing the new common curriculum that all of the associate degree programs in the state have adopted that was developed from all of the different programs’ input over a number of years. It is a really strong curriculum in every way, based on good educational principles.”
The Nursing Department will be offering its annual Nursing Information Session on Monday, Jan. 22 at 5 p.m. in the George R. Johnson Cultural Heritage Center Auditorium. Anyone planning to apply to the CSCC nursing program this summer or fall should attend this Nursing Information Session. Members of the Nursing Admissions Committee will explain the admissions requirements and the admission process. Members of the Student Nurses Association, who are current nursing students, will be available to answer questions about their experiences in the nursing program. Staff members from the Testing Center (KAPLAN Admissions Test) and Financial Aid will also be available to answer questions. Prospective students will learn about admission testing, ways to deal with anxiety associated with test taking, the requirements of the nursing program and will also be able to take a tour of the nursing media center and lab.
“The faculty is so excited,” stated Ms. Thomas. “They are so committed and dedicated to being here. We believe in associate degree programs, but at the same time, we don’t want anyone to stop here. We want them to continue on and get their BSN, but we feel like this is a gateway to opening those other opportunities.”
Dr. Seymour said, “Even though we have gone through this process with the board of nursing, I’m proud to say that we have never stopped teaching nursing courses here. We had two groups enrolled in the fall, one that just graduated in December and the other will complete their program in May. Then, we will have new cohorts in the summer and fall.”
The deadline to apply for the summer cohort will be March 1, and the deadline to apply for the fall cohort will be June 1. For more information on the nursing program or the Nursing Information Session, contact Ms. Thomas at 423-472-7141, ext. 227. You can also visit the website at www.clevelandstatecc.edu.