Monaca, Pa. – Nursing experts at ranked the Community College of Beaver County Practical Nursing (PN) program the #1 Program in Pennsylvania in 2015. The organization reviewed the results of the National Council Licensure Exam for Practical Nurses (NCLEX-PN) over the past 5 years to determine how well a school is preparing students for a career as a practical nurse. For nine out of the last ten years, CCBC has boasted an NCLEX-PN pass-rate of 100 percent.

“First-time NCLEX pass rates are a significant measure of student achievement and educational quality in any pre-licensure nursing program. They have been referred to as the ‘gold standard’ for signifying nursing program excellence,” Dr. Shelly Moore, Dean of the School of Nursing and Allied Health, said.

This distinction for CCBC’s Practical Nursing program was based on data analysis of programs across the country, including 55 programs in Pennsylvania. The overall first-time pass-rate for all practical nursing programs in the U.S. in 2015 was 81% while CCBC’s was 100%.

“CCBC nursing faculty strive to provide the highest level of education possible to ensure that our graduates are well prepared to care for people with complex health issues,” Dr. Moore added.

CCBC has offered the Practical Nursing program, the first nursing program offered at CCBC, since the College opened its doors nearly 50 years ago.

“Our Practical Nursing program is the keystone of CCBC. The program started our proud CCBC Nursing tradition in a bank building in Freedom, PA, the original location of the College,” Elaine Strouss, Professor of Nursing, explained. “In our Freedom location, the Nursing Skills Lab was on one of the top floors and the faculty offices were in a building across the street.”

While now at a different location and with many updates in technology over the years, the Practical Nursing program remains a top choice for Beaver County students interested in nursing. Due to small class sizes, practical nursing students receive hands-on instruction in the nursing labs on campus and participate in clinical courses in a variety of hospital and healthcare settings to gain valuable real-world experience.

“After only one year of training and instruction in CCBC’s Practical Nursing program, students can find employment in a nursing field, gain experience in the career field, and then advance in nursing with less financial burden,” noted Sally Fitzgerald, Professor of Nursing.

Graduates of the program are prepared to work in a variety of settings, including extended care facilities, home health care, long-term acute hospitals, doctors’ offices, and hospice care, earning an average of $17 to $19 per hour.

“Our Practical Nursing program has a rich heritage and is the foundation of our Associate Degree program specifically and our college as a whole,” Strouss noted. “The success of the Practical Nursing program is most importantly the result of many excellent nursing faculty members and administrators who consistently worked towards a vision of transforming a small school in a bank building into the number one PN program in the state of Pennsylvania for 2015 as viewed by the nursing experts at”

CCBC’s Practical Nursing program requires the successful completion of 50 credits, which can be accomplished in one calendar year. Applications for the next Practical Nursing cohort to begin in January 2017 will be accepted until April 2016. For more information about the program, visit or schedule an admissions appointment by calling 724-480-2222.

CCBC PN program #1


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