KANNAPOLIS, N.C.—Rowan-Cabarrus Community College is nationally recognized as an accredited educator for both its associate degree nursing (ADN) and practical nursing (PN) programs. The College’s nursing programs have a well-documented track record of success in both student performance and program recognition. The nursing students pass their national exams with grades well above the national average each year.

“We are very proud that 90 percent of Rowan-Cabarrus nursing graduates are employed by Novant Health Rowan, the W.G. Hefner Veterans Administration Medical Center, Carolinas Healthcare System-Northeast, long-term care facilities, hospice and other medical providers throughout the state,” said Dr. Carol S. Spalding, president of Rowan-Cabarrus Community College.

The nursing programs at Rowan-Cabarrus provide an education that is flexible, progressive, and sensitive to the changing needs of the individual, significant support person(s) and community. Through these educational experiences, students will have the opportunity to develop critical thinking and problem-solving skills.

“Many procedures that once could be done only in hospitals are now being done outside of hospitals, creating demand in other settings, such as outpatient care centers,” said Emily Fink, chair of nursing education programs for Rowan-Cabarrus. “Our students graduate with a well-rounded, comprehensive knowledge ready to join the healthcare community in Rowan and Cabarrus counties and beyond.”

The programs are increasing the number of nursing students with the addition of the spring admission cohort. Beginning fall 2018, the program admitted 45 students in the fall and another 45 students in the spring, which increased the number of ADN admissions from 60 students to 90 students.

The Practical Nursing curriculum provides knowledge and skills to integrate safety and quality into nursing care to meet the needs of the holistic individual which impact health, quality of life, and achievement of potential. Coursework includes and builds upon the domains of healthcare, nursing practice, and the holistic individual. Content emphasizes safe, individualized nursing care and participation in the interdisciplinary team while employing evidence-based practice, quality improvement, and informatics.

Graduates are eligible to apply to take the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-PN), which is required for practice as a Licensed Practical Nurse. Employment opportunities include hospitals, rehabilitation/long term care/home health facilities, clinics, and physicians’ offices.

“The nursing program was amazing, and I have learned valuable life-changing skills under these great instructors,” said Yareli Luna, Rowan-Cabarrus alumni.

The ADN program is one of only 14 programs among the 58 community colleges in North Carolina that are nationally accredited, while the PN program is one of five across the entire state – out of 40 programs – to receive this accreditation.

The purpose of the Associate Degree Nursing Program is to provide high-quality education to individuals in the community seeking a career as a registered nurse and to promote the transition of the licensed practical nurse into the role of the registered nurse. Graduates of the program are eligible to apply to take the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) to become a registered nurse.

“The resources at Rowan-Cabarrus Community College helped me get organized and gave me life skills. I’m excited for my job at Novant Health Rowan Medical Center,” said Michelle Terpstra, Rowan-Cabarrus alumni.

Employment opportunities are vast within the global healthcare system and may include positions within acute, chronic, extended, industrial, and community healthcare facilities.

“We have created a culture of care among the faculty and the students. We want our students to be technically proficient but also highly skilled at caring for individuals,” said Fink.

Today’s growing population of aging Americans and individuals with disabilities or other chronic conditions are outpacing the number of workers with the knowledge and skills to effectively care for them.

“We all care a whole lot about having educated, talented individuals caring for us and those that we love. Ensuring that our nurses are ready to excel in their chosen career is of the utmost importance,” said Dr. Wendy Barnhardt, dean of health and education programs.

Rowan-Cabarrus faculty members are committed to providing accessible, high-quality nursing education to meet the diverse and changing healthcare needs of the service area and to promoting the development of qualified graduates prepared for the professional world.

Additionally, the College has also launched a Licensed Practical Nursing to Associate Degree Nursing bridge program to help LPNs further their credentials in the field.