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PN & NA Curriculum Revision Project

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Executive Summary

Rowan-Cabarrus Community College proposes to lead a collaborative restructuring and revision of the Practical Nursing (PN) (D45660) and Nursing Assistant (NAS) (C45480) curriculums. Neither the PN core courses nor the NAS courses have been revised since the summer of 1997. In June 2008, the State Board of Community Colleges approved the Concept-Based Associate Degree Nursing (ADN) curriculum effective fall, 2009. All North Carolina ADN programs implemented the Conceptual-Based Curriculum by fall 2010. The outcomes of this revision have proven effective by the increased pass rates on the National Licensure Exam.

The current PN curriculum is based on the medical model. Revision of the PN curriculum standard and courses would align with the current concept-based ADN curriculum and facilitate a seamless transition for PN graduates as they progress. Methodology will include increased technology, distance education, and simulation. This process will also enhance articulation between the two nursing programs, and strengthen the alignment of the Nursing curriculums between the high schools and community colleges (Career and College Promise).

The NAS curriculum standard and courses will be revised to incorporate the new curriculum standards from the Center for Aide Regulation and Education (CARE) Branch of the Division of Health Service Regulation, bringing the content up to date with health care standards. The PN and NAS curriculum revisions are prompted by the 2010 Institute of Medicine’s Future of Nursing Leading Change, Advancing Health summary report recommendation: “Nurses should achieve higher levels of education and training through an improved education system that promotes seamless academic progression.” The PN curriculum revisions will also focus on state and national regulatory standards required by the North Carolina Board of Nursing, (NCBON) and the Accreditation Commission for Nursing Education, (ACEN).

The PN and NAS Program Directors and NCCCS have discussed the critical need for these curriculum revisions. The PN/NAS Curriculum Revision Project will engage PN and NAS faculty members at community colleges to research, develop, and implement appropriate career pathways to support the Nursing programs in the state. In addition to the community college faculty, the project will work with the following agencies/groups: the NCBON, CARE Branch, the N.C. Department of Public Instruction (NCDPI) career and technical education health consultants and employers in the health care system.