Oklahoma Higher Education Campus E-Clips sponsored by the Communicators Council

June 2010

OCCC Nursing Program Exceeds State and National Licensure Exam Results  


Oklahoma City Community College's department of nursing has exceeded both national and state pass rates for the 2009 academic year. OCCC also had the largest number of nursing graduates in the state in 2009, with a total of 206, and expects the number of nursing graduates in 2010 to total more than 220.

OCCC’s 2010 Nurse Pinning Ceremony for graduates of the program’s career ladder pathway took place May 14, while the 2010 Nurse Pinning Ceremony for graduates of the program’s traditional pathway was held May 15.

The 2009 Calendar Year NCLEX-RN (National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses) reported that OCCC’s pass rate was 91.75%, while the national pass rate was 88.42% and the Oklahoma Pass Rate was 86.67 percent.

One hundred and twenty-one students graduated from the nursing program during academic year 2004-2005; 129 in 2005-2006; 134 in 2006-2007; 181 in 2007-2008; 206 in 2008-2009; and OCCC anticipates over 220 for this academic year.

“When you consider the growth curve reflected by the numbers of graduates and the strength of the licensure exam pass rate, you have additional evidence of a true quality nursing education program,” Rosemary Klepper, OCCC program director of nursing, said. “An 83 percent increase in the number of graduates in six academic years plus a positive trend on the licensure exam pass rate are marks of excellence in nursing education.”

On a whole, registered nurses (RNs) constitute the largest healthcare occupation, with 2.6 million jobs. Also, nearly 60 percent of RN jobs are in hospitals. RNs treat patients, educate patients and the public about various medical conditions, and provide advice and emotional support to patients' family members, among many other tasks.

“The majority of our graduates enter the work force as RNs, and most work in the metro OKC area or surrounding communities such as Lindsay, Purcell or Midwest City,” said Klepper. “A substantial number do continue their education at the baccalaureate level. We have graduates who go on to the master’s level as well -- including five who are now full-time faculty with us.”

Klepper added that the college also has several adjunct clinical instructors who are OCCC nursing program graduates.

The three typical educational paths to registered nursing are a bachelor's degree, an associate degree, and a diploma from an approved nursing program; advanced practice nurses—clinical nurse specialists, nurse anesthetists, nurse-midwives, and nurse practitioners – require a master’s degree.

Klepper added that she feels the nursing program at OCCC is very successful due in part to a strong group of well-qualified students; well-qualified and experienced nursing administrators and faculty; college and division administrative support; a solid, well-examined and updated curriculum; excellent clinical teaching resources; and contributions of the general education and support course faculty who provide critical teaching/learning support for the nursing students.

The health education programs offered at OCCC fall into two broad categories. First, students can enroll in courses that lead to an Associate in Applied Science degree, sometimes called an immediate job entry program. After approximately two years of training, students have the skills required to begin direct employment.

The second broad category of programs is designed for students who wish to earn an Associate in Science degree at the community college and then transfer to a university for advanced training. Within this category are also health specialties that require a bachelor’s degree, a master’s degree, or even more advanced training.

Several of the programs offered at OCCC are operated in conjunction with area technology centers, and at OCCC program options can be custom-designed to fit each student by using the Diversified Studies program option.

For more information about the Nursing Program at OCCC or for statistics on OCCC’s RN pass rates, please contact the OCCC department of nursing at (405) 682-7289, or by email at rklepper@occc.edu.

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