PPCC nursing lab

In 2005, Pike Peak Community College nursing students Valerie Tafoya, left, and Lynda Coles check out the simulated infant patient at the school's new high tech nursing lab that replicates a hospital floor. The students will learn how to treat the dummies for various disorders and diseases.

Pikes Peak Community College’s popular nursing program again ranks as the No. 1 nursing school program in Colorado by RegisteredNursing.org, a nursing advocacy organization.

Nursing programs were assessed on several factors that represent how well they support students in moving toward licensure and entering the workforce.

Data analyzed included past and present “pass rates” of the standardized National Council Licensure Examination, a test state regulatory boards use to determine if nursing candidates are qualified to become licensed.

For 2019, PPCC recorded a 98.75% pass rate among 79 graduates. The college also was top in the state last year.

“We have dedicated students, and our faculty’s No. 1 goal is to make sure students are successful,” nursing program director Marilu Alltop said.

A retention coordinator helps students learn to balance school with work and life as well as prepare for licensure testing, she said, and workshops presented every semester include tips from past students.

PPCC offers an associate of applied science nursing degree, which enables graduates to become a registered nurse after passing licensure exams. This school year, the college added a RN-to-BSN (Registered Nurse-to-Bachelor of Science in Nursing) degree track.

The school stands out because “nursing graduates from PPCC possess the technical skills and patient advocacy to make them a valuable asset in the clinical setting,” according to the RegisteredNursing.org assessment results.

A total of 28 nursing schools in Colorado that offer Registered Nurse, Associate in Nursing, Bachelor of Science in Nursing or Direct-Entry Master’s of Science in Nursing degrees were evaluated.

PPCC’s nursing program attracts up to 200 applications per semester for 60 to 65 slots filled twice yearly, Alltop said.

She encourages prospective students to look at schools’ historical trends of licensure pass rates, visit the schools, and talk with faculty and students to choose the best fit.

PPCC also earned a No. 1 ranking, along with several other nursing schools that tied for the top spot, by the National Council of State Boards of Nursing.

Contact the writer: 719-476-1656.

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