Rowan-Cabarrus accredited nursing programs creating talented nurses

Published 12:00 am Thursday, August 8, 2019

KANNAPOLIS — Rowan-Cabarrus Community College is accredited for both its associate degree in nursing and practical nursing programs.

The nursing programs have a track record of success in both student performance and program recognition. Nursing students pass 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 college President Carol S. Spalding.

The nursing programs provide an education that is flexible and sensitive to the changing needs of the individual and community. Students 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, chairwoman of nursing education. “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 in fall 2018, the program admitted 45 students and another 45 students in the spring, which increased the number of associate degree nursing admissions from 60 to 90 students.

The practical nursing curriculum provides knowledge and skills to integrate safety and quality into nursing care.  Content emphasizes safe, individualized nursing care and participation in an interdisciplinary team.

Graduates are eligible to apply to take the National Council Licensure Examination, which is required for practice as a licensed practical nurse. Employment opportunities include hospitals; rehabilitation; long-term care and 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, a Rowan-Cabarrus alumni.

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

The associate degree program serves students seeking a career as a registered nurse and to promote the transition of a licensed practical nurse to a registered nurse. Graduates are eligible to apply to take the registered nurse exam.

“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, a Rowan-Cabarrus alumni.

Employment opportunities include acute, chronic, extended, industrial, and community health care facilities.

The growing population of aging Americans and people with disabilities or chronic conditions is outpacing the number of workers with the knowledge and skills to 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 Wendy Barnhardt, dean of health and education programs.

Rowan-Cabarrus has launched a licensed practical nursing to associate degree nursing bridge program to help LPNs further credentials in the field.