LCC nursing student Kala Clarence
The nursing program at Lane Community College is one of the best in the country. Both the program and its students continue to achieve results.
Lane’s five-year-old Licensed Practical Nursing program recently received an eight-year accreditation, the highest award possible. The 2017 LPN class scored a state licensure exam first-time pass rate of 100 percent. The 2017 Registered Nursing (RN) class achieved a first-time pass rate of 98.53 percent—surpassing the national pass rate of 85.8 percent. That’s remarkable, especially for one of the largest nursing programs in the state of Oregon, says Maggie McHugh, associate dean of thehealth professions division at Lane and director of the nursing program. She says Lane students are successful because of staffcommitment and strong community support.
“We have dedicated faculty, excellent support through our clinical partners, and we have a large pool of applicants,” McHugh says. Last year, the school admitted a cohort of 80 students from 247 applications. While getting into Lane’s nursing program is competitive, it’s an achievable dream, she says.
Interested students should talk with an advisor at Lane to begin their journey. The program appreciates culturally diverse, well-rounded and service-oriented applicants. Many scholarships are available thanks to local sponsors like PeaceHealth Oregon, which pledges significant support each year for faculty, facilities and scholarships.
Lane is a partner in OCNE, the Oregon Consortium of Nursing Education, along with 10 other community colleges. Lane also partners with Oregon Health & Science University. OCNE schools share a curriculum to facilitate a seamless transition from an associate degree to a bachelor of science in nursing. “Our articulation agreement with OHSU allows students to co-enroll and go right on and get their bachelor’s degree with one more year of study,” says McHugh. “They don’t have to go to Portland; they can do that year online, so it works well for many people.”
McHugh says 93 percent of last years’ graduating class intends to finish their bachelor’s degree. This will advance their careers beyond the staff nurse stage and prepare them to work on a master’s degree. As the current workforce ages, particularly nursing instructors, fewer nurses are available. “There are many jobs available for nursing faculty locally, statewide and nationally,” McHugh says.
Nursing is a marriage of art and science, McHugh says, and requires someone who not only has a caring bedside manner but takes their training in anatomy, physiology, math and science seriously.
McHugh says nursing is a challenging but highly rewarding career. “You’ve got to be smart, motivated, like people, and have high ethical standards. It’s a career that you can take you anywhere.”