Joliet Junior College nursing graduates surpassed national and state averages after taking the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX) in 2014, according to Dr. Debbie Fitzgerald, JJC professor and chair of the Nursing, Allied Health and Emergency Services Department.
Every student who took the NCLEX-PN passed, giving JJC a 100 percent pass rate for practical nurses. The state average for the exam was 86 percent and the national average was 82 percent.
Students are qualified to become licensed practical nurses (LPNs) after their first year in JJC’s nursing program. Many LPNs work in nursing homes, home health, assisted living, private duty, or in patients’ homes. After two years in JJC’s nursing program, students are qualified to take the NCLEX-RN.
2014 registered nursing graduates (RNs) also did well on their exam, with a 92 percent pass rate, eight percent above the state average and ten percent above the national average. Graduates of JJC’s certified nursing assistant (CNA) program had a 98 percent pass rate.
Nursing is one of the country’s fastest growing occupations, and according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, from 2012 to 2020, positions for RNs are expected to grow by 19 percent and LPN positions are expected to increase by 39 percent. Other job increases by 2022 include: 21 percent for CNAs; 48 percent for home health aides; 39 percent for sonographers; and 23 percent for EMTs and paramedics.
JJC has the biggest community college-based nursing program in Illinois, and one of only a few that offers an evening program.
More than 100 students graduate from JJC’s nursing program each year. Thanks to the new Health Professions Center built in 2013, students are exposed to state-of-the-art simulation, and computer labs. The practice and simulation labs allow for hands-on learning while nursing knowledge is evaluated. The computer lab enables the student to take tests and practice for NCLEX style questions.
“The continued level of success on the NCLEX is achieved thanks to the dedication and excellence of our JJC Nursing Faculty,” Fitzgerald said. “Clerical and support staff, tutors and administration also contribute to our student success. Partners at our various clinical agencies are also vital to JJC nursing students’ success.”
To learn more about the nursing program at JJC, prospective students can attend informational sessions, which can be found at http://www.jjc.edu/nursing/Pages/Nursing-Program-Information-Sessions.aspx. Fitzgerlad can be reached at 815-280-2857 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. For information about JJC’s CNA program, contact Mary Fazio at email@example.com or 815-280-2463.