North Central Michigan College’s nursing program has been named a top five RN program in the state, according to a ranking released by the National Council of State Boards of Nursing.  The top five ranking measures North Central’s nursing program against all other programs in Michigan, including those at four-year universities.

The program ranking is based on the percentage of North Central graduates who passed the NCLEX-RN® examinations administered between April and September 2019.  NCLEX-RN® is the test that qualifies graduates to practice as registered nurses.  North Central’s first-time pass rate was 97 percent, and 100 percent overall.

“Our nursing graduates’ success on the NCLEX exam is a testament to the quality of education provided at North Central Michigan College,” said Dr. David Roland Finley, North Central’s president.  “We offer exceptional, accessible, relevant higher education for learners of all ages, and this is true across the board.  We are especially proud of the 2019 nursing program graduates and all that they have achieved.”

Nurses in the Class of 2019 were assisted by a generous donation from the Borra Family Foundation, which helped launch North Central’s NCLEX Success Program.  The program covered the cost of a live NCLEX training session and provided financial support for students to take the exam and secure their nursing licenses if they followed a prescribed path to complete the NCLEX shortly after graduation.

“This is a major milestone for our nursing program and a sign of great accomplishment for our nursing students,” said Chelsea Platte, executive director of the NCMC Foundation.  “We appreciate the support of the Borra Family Foundation in launching this innovative initiative, as well as the many donors whose gifts continue to strengthen our nursing program.”

North Central’s nursing program is an accelerated, two-year program with a competitive application process.  A regional nursing shortage, coupled with popular demand, prompted the college to expand its nursing cohort from 46 to 64 students effective with the Fall 2019 semester, the first increase since 2006.

“North Central’s registered nursing program is led by a cadre of talented faculty who have dedicated their careers to preparing nurses who are some of the best in the state of Michigan,” said Jamie Pagels, DNP, dean of Nursing, Allied Health and Science.  “Our nursing program exists within a community of educators, students, alumni, donors and clinical agencies who have one purpose: to elevate nursing education to the highest standard possible.”

Dr. Pete Olson, vice president of Academic Affairs and Student Success, describes the achievement as a testament to a campus-wide pursuit of academic excellence.

“While we recognize that these scores are the result of a team effort on the part of the faculty, clinical instructors, administrators, and most importantly the students themselves, the whole North Central campus can benefit as we continue to attract students dedicated to excellence, no matter which program they choose,” Olson said.

To mark this achievement, a reception honoring the nursing Class of 2019 is scheduled for November 25 at 4 p.m. in the lobby of the Health Education and Science Center on the Petoskey campus.

North Central Michigan College is an open-door community college based in Petoskey, with additional locations offering classes and services in Cheboygan and Gaylord. North Central’s mission is to provide educational, economic and cultural opportunities for student learning, personal growth and community improvement.  North Central is an Achieving the Dream Leader College with a designation of Veteran Friendly Gold by the Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency.


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Megan Van Horn
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