Gaston College Practical Nursing program ranked as one of the best in North Carolina

The Gaston College Associate Degree Nursing program and Practical Nursing program are among the top 10 programs in North Carolina for 2020.

The Associate Degree Nursing (ADN) program ranks number 5 statewide for the 10 Best Nursing Schools in North Carolina Offering ADN Programs, according to (a guide to Nursing and Healthcare Education). Based on the Ranking Methodology, analyzed all 90 Schools in North Carolina offering nursing education to come up with a list of the best schools for associate degree programs in nursing.

The education experts at rank the ADN program at number 8 in the state and 54 in the nation after looking at first-time NCLEX-RN passing rates, the number of students taking the test, the program nursing accreditation and more. In addition, the College’s ADN program and LPN to RN program rank at number 22 among the best RN programs in the state by The organization analyzed 82 nursing programs in North Carolina and recently published their annual findings of the best nursing schools in the state and the country.

Also,, the leading LPN advancement and ranking agency, analyzed 39 schools and ranked Gaston College’s Practical Nursing (LPN) program as number 9. The nursing programs were assessed on “several factors which represent how well a program supports students towards licensure and beyond.” The organization analyzes past and present first time National Council Licensure Examination exam passing rates, weighted by year. North Carolina’s rankings were based on the years 2015 through 2019.

The five-semester Associate Degree Nursing program is designed to prepare graduates to assess, analyze, plan, implement, and evaluate nursing care. Students who earn an ADN are eligible to sit for the NCLEX-RN exam. The three-semester Practical Nursing program prepares students to care for patients with a variety of medical-surgical problems and to apply to take the NCLEX-PN which is required for practice as a practical nurse. Gaston College also offers an LPN to RN option associate degree designed for students who have already met the requirements to be a Licensed Practical Nurse.

Fifty-four Practical Nursing graduates were honored on August 6, 2020, at a pinning ceremony that marked their completion of the program. In May, 48 LPN to RN graduates and 31 ADN graduates participated in pinning ceremonies.

To accommodate COVID-19 restrictions, the Gaston College Health and Human Services administration and the Nursing program faculty planned and implemented safe, socially distanced alternatives to the pinning ceremonies that are usually held indoors with graduates’ families and friends in attendance. Each Practical Nursing student, accompanied by family and household members, was given an assigned time to drive up to a specified area on the Gaston College Lincoln Campus; LPN to RN and ADN students went to the Dallas campus. College faculty and staff, safely positioned nearby on the campuses, cheered and offered congratulations as the student and one family member exited their car and walked by. After the family member pinned the student, photo opportunities were allowed near large banners featuring each graduate’s name.

The ceremonies were the culmination of a semester that also was adapted to adhere to COVID-19 guidelines. In March 2020, the North Carolina Community College System directed that colleges utilize an online delivery method to the fullest extent possible. As there is a critical need for health services in response to the pandemic, allowances were made so the nursing programs could offer classroom instruction as long as students and faculty followed appropriate social distancing and safety measures. The programs offered some face-to-face laboratory and simulation exercises to meet program-specific requirements. Lectures were presented in both synchronous and asynchronous online learning formats.

“We are very proud of all our nursing students and of our faculty and staff,” said Dr. Alison Abernathy, Dean of Health and Human Services. “They all are very aware of the vital services nurses provide—especially in these difficult times—and, despite the challenges of the COVID-19 restrictions, they completed their programs with outstanding success.”

The Practical Nursing 2020 graduating class has a 100% NCLEX passage rate, and there is a 96% NCLEX passage rate for the LPN to RN and the ADN graduating classes. Gaston College Nursing Programs are nationally accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN). Individuals interested in additional information about Gaston College Nursing Programs should contact the Admissions Specialist for the Nursing Programs at 704-922-6469 or 704-748-5221. 

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