Pasco-Hernando State College celebrated the accomplishments of its graduating classes of nursing students during a pinning ceremony held at the institution’s West Campus Performing Arts Center in New Port Richey on May 3.
The institution’s health care programs have continually received high rankings and accolades among the state and nation. This year is no exception as the current 2023 cohort of 57 first-quarter students received a 100% pass rate on their National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses, the best ratio in all the Florida College System. In comparison the first-quarter state pass rate for associate degree programs is 67% and the national rate is 79%. The PHSC Licensed Practical Nurse program has a 100% annual pass rate for 2022.
“My first semester of nursing school was a rollercoaster for sure. It took me at least three weeks to fully adjust to the workload, stress, and excitement and I accredit the success of our cohort to be the combination of excellent staff, well planned curriculum, and the personal dedication of each nursing student,” said Katie Shelley, first-quarter 2023 cohort nursing student.
The success of the programs can be attributed to several factors including the care and involvement of faculty and staff, established community partnerships, and the diligence and perseverance of the students and their support networks.
“Without the community support of the health care agencies and partners we could not have students in clinical settings like we do giving them the invaluable opportunity to gain bedside interactions with real patients,” said Kelly McAdams, Ph.D., Associate Dean of Nursing.
But the programs are not without challenges, many of which are affecting the health care industry nationwide.
“We are seeing fewer student and instructor applicants in the health programs as is the case nationwide with a drastic shortage in the industry due to several factors including COVID, burnout, stress and retirement,” said McAdams.
Increased competition for clinical sites is also a challenge for the programs as the school tries to keep the clinical rotations close to the student’s physical address.
In April, the college in conjunction with St. Petersburg College’s Institute for Strategic Policy Solutions hosted a round table discussion, The Nursing Workforce Dilemma in Florida, where students, faculty, staff, and local health care partners and agencies met to discuss the trends, challenges, and solutions for those in the nursing field as well as the overall state of nursing education in Florida.
“Our goal is to be a solid community focused organization helping provide quality candidates to join the workforce and help solve some of the staffing needs,” said McAdams.
Through these challenges PHSC continues to adapt and help grow the profession providing some of the best prospects in the health industry and community.
“I entered the study of nursing to become equipped with skills to help people in their greatest time of need. Joining the nursing profession inspires me to be a better person for myself, family and community,” said Shelley.
"We remain proud of PHSC's first-rate Nursing programs. The consistently favorable outcomes are a testament to our outstanding faculty, rigorous curriculum and clinical experiences. We are confident that PHSC is launching Nursing graduates who will be among the very best practitioners in the profession and ready to impact the lives of the patients they will serve," said Stanley Giannet, Ph.D., PHSC Executive Vice President and Chief Academic Officer.
For more information about PHSCs health care programs visit phsc.edu/academics/programs/health.