Hospitals need different professionals in place to keep them running including nurses. Practical nurses (PN) do the basics for patient care in hospitals; they monitor patients’ health and administer basic care such as changing bandages and providing comfort for patients. PNs respond to registered nurses.
In the weekend edition of The Outlook, we wrote about Central Alabama Community College being recognized as one of the best practical nursing programs in the state according to PracticalNursing.com. CACC ranked third with a score of 98.31.
The nursing program admits students into its RN program first and students can opt to study and go through PN boards, according to CACC health science program administrator Jennifer Steele. Steele said the program has 35 nurses graduating in May and August and 14 of them have already passed the National Council Licensure Examination for nurses on their first attempts, respectively.
Nursing is a tough job and nursing programs are often rigorous and challenging. Being ranked in the top three is an honor and shows how well CACC prepares its students.
There will always be a need for nurses. Steele said there is a nursing shortage in the U.S. and a PN shortage in Alabama. Having the nursing program helps local hospitals deal with the shortage.
“We’ve got (licensed practical nurses) working in almost every long-term care facility and our service area which would cover Talladega, Coosa and Tallapoosa counties,” Steele said.
According to the United States Department of Labor, there were 12,190 PNs working in Alabama as of May 2018. There are 701,690 PNs nationwide.
“It’s becoming more competitive to get in, which means that we’re able to pull the cream of the crop, which also means we’re putting out there in the community the best nurses,” Steele said. “I think that is a huge asset to the community.”
We congratulate CACC and hope the program continues to grow.