MUSKEGON, Mich. — Despite a 2020 that never seemed to stop presenting new roadblocks, the students at Muskegon Community College's school of nursing managed to perform high above the state and national averages on their certification exams to become both registered and practical nurses.
March 19 is Certified Nurses Day, and FOX 17 is spotlighting the incredible dedication and resiliency of the students and staff at Muskgeon Community College.
The graduates taking the National Council Licensing Examination (NCLEX) for practical nurses had a first-time pass rate of 100% this year. While those taking the NCLEX for registered nurses had a first-time pass rate of 93.7%.
Those are far above both the national and state averages.
“We are very proud that our nursing students always have pass rates above the state and national level. I do not recall a time when we dropped below that,” said nursing program director Chris Patterson MSN, RN, CNE.
“It shows that we prepare them— It shows that they take it seriously.”
They were forced to shift almost all of their operations online back in March of 2020, as COVID hit West Michigan.
Eventually they were able to get back to face-to-face learning, even building out a simulation lab where the students could work on life-life electronic mannequins.
“We knew we were going to have to do simulation in order to put our students through, we did not have want to hold up any classes or any students from graduating,” Patterson said.
She believes that, in the end, this challenging year will make their students more effective in the healthcare industry.
Saying, “I think they will be a lot more resilient, and they will understand that nothing is permanent, that things change, and instead of sitting around and whining about it, we have to rise to the occasion, and make it work."