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NIC, LCSC nursing programs earn accolades

by Press Staff
| October 7, 2022 1:00 AM

Nursing programs at North Idaho College and Lewis-Clark State College have been recognized for excellence by RegisteredNursing.org, a nursing advocacy organization.

NIC’s associate degree nursing program has been ranked the top nursing program in Idaho for the second consecutive year. The program received the state’s top rating from RegisteredNursing.org in 2021 and 2022, according to NIC Director of Nursing Erlene Pickett.

“This ranking is another indication of the strength of the nursing program NIC has,” Pickett said.

RegisteredNursing.org ranks nursing programs by analyzing current and historic data regarding students’ pass rates for the NCLEX-RN, the nursing competency exam students must pass to become entry-level nurses.

NIC earned a 96.32 score out of 100 and ranked more than two points higher than the 10 other Idaho nursing programs RegisteredNursing.org ranked.

“North Idaho College offers a standout associate degree in nursing program to educate the nursing professionals of tomorrow,” the organization said in its 2022 Idaho rankings. “This competitive-entry program utilizes a robust curriculum that includes nursing theory in the classroom as well as clinical practice in real health care environments. (Licensed practical nurses) are eligible for advanced placement within the program.”

RegisteredNursing.org ranked Lewis-Clark State College’s nursing program as No. 1 among four-year higher education institutions in Idaho for the second straight year.

LCSC's program earned a 94.47 score out of 100 to earn the honor, four points higher than any other four-year public institution in the state. LCSC's score is also slightly higher than its 94.32 rating from a year ago.

RegisteredNursing.org gave LCSC high marks for “offering several nursing pathways for ambitious students." It said the school's traditional pre-licensure bachelor of science in nursing program prepares students for a rewarding, patient-centered career in nursing in four years of study. Licensed practical nursing to BSN and special community college to BSN tracks are also available to accommodate students at multiple points in the registered nurse journey, RegisteredNursing.org said.

In its seventh annual ratings, RegisteredNursing.org assessed nursing programs on several factors, including how well the program supports students toward licensure and beyond, and past and present first-time NCLEX-RN test pass rates. The NCLEX-RN exam must be taken by nursing program graduates to demonstrate competency and to be licensed to begin their nursing careers. State boards of nursing can use a school’s overall exam pass rates as one measure of a school’s ability to deliver a quality nursing education. LCSC's first-time NCLEX pass rates have been the highest of the public four-year institutions in Idaho for the past three years.

Students interested in the BSN program must complete pre-program requirements at LCSC, an accredited college or university before they can apply and be accepted into the LCSC program to take upper division BSN courses.

The college also offers BSN completion tracks for currently licensed practical and registered nurses. The LPN-BSN track is offered through a combination of traditional on-campus and online course delivery, while the RN-BSN track is delivered fully online.

View RegisteredNursing.org's 2023 rankings: registerednursing.org/state/idaho/#show

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