ICC Nursing Program Top of Its Class

November 03, 2019

By Emily Carlson Herald Review

It is difficult to find someone who hasn’t had their life affected by the work of a nurse. Whether it is personal care, or taking care of a loved one, nurses play an important role in the world every day. Some of the best training of these professionals is taking place right here in Grand Rapids at Itasca Community College (ICC). With a list of accolades, the nursing program at ICC is preparing the next generation of nurses to serve their patients with the best care.

Some of ICC’s most notable accomplishments of its nursing program include the following:

First nursing program in Minnesota to be granted NLN CNEA accreditation (October 2018). National League for Nursing for Commission for Nursing Education Accreditation - National accrediting body focusing on quality in the areas of curriculum, governance, faculty, outcomes and students.

May 2018 graduates achieved a 100% National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX)

May 2019 graduates earned a 100% NCLEX pass rate (2 years in a row)

100% of graduates who wished to have a job as an LPN were working

31% of 2019 graduates are pursuing further education as part of the ladder approach in nursing.

The PN (practical nursing) graduates for the last couple years are local to the Grand Rapids and range area; as well as a population in International Falls area. Most stay in the area.

Strong clinical partnerships with Fairview Grand Itasca, Essentia Health Deer River and Grand Village Skilled Nursing Facility.

Lynette How, director of the practical nursing program at ICC, stated the program’s class size is limited to 40 students which allows instructors to know each student individually. The instructors focus on supporting all of their students by being available to students, giving exam analysis feedback and using a learning community model.

“Itasca embraces its learning communities by providing space and support to empower and encourage students around a shared goal,” How said. “The Nursing Learning Community provides collaborative support and team building opportunities for students at any level of the nursing career ladder.”

Nursing students are also held to progression standards that are consistent throughout the state, according to How. These include exam average policy, remediation requirements, and entrance and acceptance standards.

According to the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED), from 2014 to 2024, Minn. is expected to see nursing employment grow by 11.8 %. This will result in around 6,700 new registered nurse job positions and 13,400 positions to be filled for retiring nurses or those leaving the job. Additionally, DEED reported registered nursing is the second-highest occupation in demand in Minn.

ICC’s nursing program began in 1964. This year there 36 students in practical nursing and nursing assistant programs. The program is set up with the flexibility for students to complete a level of nursing in just two semesters after finishing pre-program requirements, according to How. This flexibility gives students the chance to enter the workforce quickly and gives them time to see if they would like to take an additional year of schooling to receive their associate’s registered nursing degree.

In a report from the Regional Workforce Strategy in April 2019, practical nursing was classified as one of the occupational needs for the area. How remarked that she is honored to be a part of the ICC nursing program that contributes to the needs of the community.

“I am privileged to be part of the nursing program, our commitment to the region and our niche in the nursing career ladder,” How said. “I envision our continual quality improvement actions will position us to attract talented students to help fill the anticipated regional workforce shortage.”

For more information about ICC’s nursing program, visit the program webpage.

Source: Grand Rapids Herald Review

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