JCJC’s Nursing program ranked as top amongst Community/Junior Colleges

JCJC’s Nursing program ranked as top amongst Community/Junior Colleges
The closings affect the Greene County and Jasper County centers. (Photo source: JCJC)

ELLISVILLE, MS (WDAM) - The following is a news release from Jones County Junior College

Being ranked the best nursing program amongst the 15 Community/Junior Colleges in Mississippi is not an easy task. When Jones County Junior College's Associate Degree Nursing Division Chair, Erin Knight, MSN, RN received the news the two-year nursing program was ranked #4 rank amongst all nursing programs in the state by RegisteredNursing.org., it confirmed what she suspected.

"Our instructors feel like we give students what they need to be successful and, our students come in very focused, goal oriented, they know what they want, and are willing to work. Nursing school, no matter where you go, is a tough program of study," said Knight. "The instructor-faculty ratio in JCJC's Associate Degree Nursing classrooms is 10 students for every instructor. That also allows Jones students access to their instructor for a quality teaching and learning environment."

When nursing students finish any nursing program in the state, whether it's from a university or community college, they take the National Council Licensure Exam (NCLEX-RN) to become a registered nurse. It is a complex test with 75 to 265 questions which can take 2-3 hours to complete. To determine the best nursing programs in the state, the pass rates of each program was used to establish the Top 10 list, according to the RegisteredNursing.org website.

"We ranked the top 10 nursing schools in Mississippi by analyzing current and historical pass rates of the NCLEX-RN (state licensure test), meaning the percentage of graduates who pass the exam out of the 23 RN programs in the state.  Programs reviewed include schools offering an Associate in Nursing, BSN, or Direct-Entry MSN Degree." (RegisteredNursing.org)

The pass rates from 2010 to 2014 determined the Top 10 ranking, which placed the University of Mississippi Medical Center in the overall top spot. The Mississippi University for Women, and Delta State University ranked second and third respectively, with JCJC in fourth place. Jones students had a 100 percent pass rate in 2012 and 2014, with high, 91 to 97 percent averages over the four years examined. Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College came in fifth, with William Carey University, Coahoma Community College, Mississippi Delta Community College, the University of Southern Mississippi and Northeast Community College rounding out the top ten programs.

"I'm proud to learn we are doing very well and exceeding (the pass-rates of) our university programs. I have always felt we have a great program, so it's nice to be recognized," said Knight.

Robin Reeves, a 49-year-old Hattiesburg resident who expects to graduate from the JCJC nursing program in December, explained while researching her options, Jones was a perfect fit for her.

"Jones is close to home and I had heard great things about the faculty and the NCLEX-RN pass rates. I was not surprised by the ranking because of the quality of our instructors, the quality of the program with clinical experience/training, and the instruction we receive. I see other students at clinical and what we're doing is more complex and difficult than what I see and hear from others," said Reeves. "Jones instructors go out of their way to do everything possible to ensure we're prepared."

Mistakes made in the nursing profession can have a profound effect. Working in the Intensive Care Unit at Forrest General Hospital, JCJC 2013 graduate from Laurel, Jared Blackledge, RN, shared you have to confidently execute a care plan while working with acute patients.  He credits Jones for giving him the edge and ability to be an ICU nurse.

"Jones' high standard of education, stressing patient safety and patient care, really prepared me for the workforce. The college's reputation as a valued asset in the community also contributed to my success while looking for a job," said Blackledge. "As part of our clinical experience, we went through South Central Regional Medical Center's Emergency Room and triage. We learned a lot during those sessions which really helped us see what patient care was like in the critical, emergency environment."

Getting "bedside" experience is vital to the overall patient-nurse relationship and ultimately, the successful care of patients according to Knight. She said she is appreciative of the clinical partners for providing Jones students a variety of training opportunities.

"Anyone who hires our graduates feels very comfortable and very confident they've hired someone who is going to be a great employee, who is also a very caring and competent nurse and can walk into their facility and start work."

The NCLEX-RN pass rate scores are available from the Institutions of Higher Learning in Jackson, Mississippi and were used for the Top 10 ranking of nursing programs. The website, RegisteredNursing.org's ranking and methodology can be found on their website at: http://www.registerednursing.org/state/mississippi/. To learn more about JCJC's associate degree nursing program call 601-477-4019 or email: erin.knight@jcjc.edu.