Out of the 72 schools reviewed by NursingProcess.org, MCCC’s registered nursing program took the top spot in Michigan for 2020.
Nursing student Lauren van Klingeren expressed her happiness at the program’s ranking.
“I think it’s awesome that it’s ranked No. 1,” van Klingeren said. “I’m so blessed to be in this program. I do think it should be ranked No. 1, because they truly prepare you in the proper ways.”
Kimberley Lindquist, dean of Health Sciences and director of Nursing, said she initially questioned the credibility of the ranking.
“I didn’t know a lot about the NursingProcess.org organization, so I was a little bit skeptical,” Lindquist said.
According to their website, NursingProcess.org compiles nursing education and career information based on data in your state on a single easy-to-access website.
Every year, NursingProcess.org reviews all state-board approved nursing schools to compile a list of the top 10 nursing schools in each state.
They rank each school by looking at academic quality, which takes into consideration acceptance rate, graduation and retention rates and student-to-faculty ratio.
They also assess first-time National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) pass rates in the last four years, affordability and overall reputation of the nursing school.
After doing research to ensure the ranking was a credible one, Lindquist said she was excited the program was recognized for its high standards.
“It was nice to see that recognition so the community can appreciate what we’re doing here,” Lindquist said.
After the news was made public, she said she received many emails of congratulation from friends and fellow faculty.
The program’s No. 1 ranking also had personal significance for Lindquist. She graduated from the program in 1992.
“The degree that I earned from here has been the basis of everything I’ve done professionally since then,” Lindquist said. “It’s always held a special place in my heart because of the wonderful things that it’s done for me.”
Lindquist said she credits the program’s success to the students and faculty who constantly work to meet the ever-changing expectations in the field of nursing.
“It’s a lot of pressure on educators to ensure students meet those expectations,” Lindquist said. “We do that, and we do it really well.”
Nicole Garner, professor of nursing, also attributed the ranking to the faculty and students who make up the program.
“We have great students, dedicated staff and faculty that work together to make sure that everything is up-to-date, that the program is very solid,” Garner said.
Garner’s favorite part of the program is watching students’ progress.
She teaches fundamentals to first-semester nursing students. Those same students have her for mental health courses during their second semester.
“I get to see their growth between them in their fundamentals to the mental health class, and I love that,” Garner said. “I love this job. There’s not another job in the world I’d rather have.”
When she received the campuswide email announcing the ranking, Garner said she and other faculty members began texting back and forth about the news.
After she shared the news on Facebook, she received a flood of congratulations from friends, family, students and graduates of the program.
“It’s really breathtaking, almost,” Garner said. “Super exciting!”
Although it is not an easy program, the level of difficulty contributes to its rate of success.
“It’s never to torture, but always to prepare,” Lindquist joked.
Van Klingeren said the program prepares students for a career in nursing by putting them through a variety of situations.
“They’re tough on you, which is a good thing,” van Klingeren said. “They prepare you to be a nurse.”
Kayla Maddox, a recent graduate of the program, cited the hard work of the staff as a contributor toward her success in the program.
“They’re here to help us grow, to encourage us,” Maddox said. “They push us when we need to be pushed.”
Lindquist also mentioned the hard work of her fellow faculty members.
“It’s really a testament to what the faculty and students are doing here,” Lindquist said of the ranking.
Although the ranking is exciting, Lindquist predicts the program won’t be slowing down anytime soon.
She said in the future, exams will be enhanced by focusing more intensely on clinical reasoning and critical thinking.
In addition, Lindquist said the curriculum is constantly being adapted as new research and technology is introduced.
The program is also scheduled to receive an accreditation visit in the fall of 2021.
“It’s a never-ending process of improvement so the program is the best it can be,” Garner said.