The List: Community colleges nurses love


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So far in our lists of the top nursing school programs in the country, we’ve often featured universities that are well-known around the nation or in the region they’re located. However, we know this leaves out many smaller community colleges across the country.

In light of that, we want to spend this week looking at community colleges that have received positive reviews from real nurses in our Nurse’s Guide to Nursing Schools. Even if these particular schools aren’t in your area, it may inspire anyone thinking of obtaining a nursing degree to look outside the more well-known universities and colleges at community colleges in their areas. Often, this also will allow you to gain your degree closer to home while spending less!

Additionally, if you’ve already been through nursing school, don’t forget to rate your own school or alma mater at The Nurse’s Guide to Nursing Schools and leave comments about your personal experience to help out those who may be thinking about following in your footsteps. Got a question about a school? Leave a comment on the school’s page, and the Scrubs community will help find an answer.

Wallace State Community College
Hanceville, Ala.

“Tremendous, challenging school. The last two graduating classes (May & Aug 2012) achieved 100% pass rate on NCLEX.”

Hanceville is a very small town in Alabama located approximately halfway between Huntsville and Birmingham. Wallace State, however, serves around 7,000 total students through both in-classroom programs and online options.

The nursing department offers both RN and LPN training that combines classroom and clinical instruction. Additionally, those who complete their associate’s degree at the school can use a partnership with the University of Alabama to continue their education and earn their bachelor’s or master’s degree.

Johnston Community College
Smithfield, N.C.

“This is an ADN program where you have a positive feel. Your instructors are trying to help you at every turn. You feel like they are trying to get you through, not fail you out.”

Smithfield, N.C. is located about 30 miles southeast of the Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill Triangle. The school serves more than 15,000 students each year through its degree and non-degree programs, and is situated on a scenic, 175-acre campus.

The school reports that its total NCLEX pass-rate over the past 5 years is 97 percent, which is significantly higher than the North Carolina average of 88 percent over the same period.

Tompkins-Cortland Community College
Dryden, N.Y.

“The nursing program has a Dec. application deadline and the decision letters come out in Feb. and March. They use NCLEX questions on all tests for the whole program and offer a review class after graduation, which is well worth the money.”

Part of the State University of New York (SUNY) system, Tompkins-Cortland Community College is located about 20 minutes east of Ithaca, N.Y. Graduates from the community college often pursue further degrees at Cornell University or Ithaca College, both of which are in Ithaca.

The nursing program combines nursing courses and liberal arts classes for a well-rounded degree. The college reports that while job placement rates for its graduates are great, many go on to earn bachelor’s and higher nursing degrees.

Henderson Community College
Henderson, Ky.

“The nursing faculty is very helpful and available when asked to meet to go over material outside of class time. Made lifelong friendships here. All of the teachers know your name, and the small school size allows for more effective communication between students and faculty.”

While Henderson Community College enrolls around 2,200 students, it also offers education to more than 4,000 additional students through its continuing education program. The city of Henderson is on the northern border of Kentucky and is part of the Evansville, Ind. metro area.

The school of nursing offers two programs, one for those seeking to become an LPN, and another that offers an LPN to ADN bridge program.

Wor-Wic Community College
Salisbury, Md.

“Attending Wor-Wic is a wonderful experience. The nursing program is challenging and thought provoking. You learn at a fast pace and retention of the knowledge is high. The manner in which you are taught by the instructors keeps you wanting to go back for more. Love this school and love the program.”
–  islecul8er 

Wor-Wick Community College has nearly 6,000 full-time students, in addition to more than 2,500 non-credit students. The college is located in Salisbury, a town of about 30,000 residents in southeast Maryland.

The nursing program also offers LPN and associate’s degree options. The latter can earn students up to 70 hours of direct transfer credit that can be used when they transfer to a BSN program within the University of Maryland system.


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