PLANO (Aug. 18, 2015) — The National League for Nursing (NLN) has announced it will honor Collin College this fall as a Center of Excellence in Nursing Education for a second time. The institution was the first in the state to win the designation when NLN awarded it to the college originally in 2011. It’s now one of three in Texas and the only community college in the state with the designation.
The Centers of Excellence (COE) program honors colleges and universities that demonstrate a commitment to quality nursing education. Only 42 of more than 1,900 nursing programs in the United States have earned the COE designation.
“This adds emphasis to the great things Collin College does for our students, our community and the nursing profession,” Board of Trustees Chair Dr. Bob Collins said. “Our program is producing exceptional health care workers ready to fill a growing need, and it is good to know that organizations like the NLN are taking note.”
The news comes as Texas faces a massive shortage of registered nurses (RNs), particularly those with the Bachelor of Science in Nursing (B.S.N.) degrees that hospitals need to qualify for magnet status. By 2020, Texas will be short 71,000 RNs, and as much as 80 percent of the nursing workforce will require at least a bachelor’s degree. Nationwide, the shortage is expected to reach 260,000 by 2016.
Twenty-two states have already authorized community colleges to offer bachelor’s degree to alleviate shortages, and Collin College has proposed that state officials expand the B.S.N. credential so it can help ease the shortage.
“More hospitals have begun to require nurses to obtain a baccalaureate or higher level of education, including the majority of hospitals in Collin County,” District President Dr. Neil Matkin said. “Collin College’s nursing program is one of the finest in the state and nation, and we are ready to help fill the explosive need in our workforce. The Higher Education Coordinating Board has expressed strong support for our efforts to offer a Bachelor of Science in Nursing and Collin College will continue to work to fill the needs of our community. We are the only public institution of higher education in Collin County.”
Less than 50 percent of Texas’ nursing workforce meets the baccalaureate degree standards now, meaning many nurses will have to return to school to earn a bachelor’s degree or earn one before applying for employment.
“With one look at our licensure rate, award-winning faculty and the recruitment of our graduates, it’s easy to see Collin College has something special,” Dr. Matkin said.
The Collin College nursing program consistently has a first-time pass rate on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX) almost 10 percent higher than the state and national averages. The college’s graduation rate is 98 percent over the past three years, and the college will open a new building to expand health science programs in January.
The NLN announced the Center of Excellence news in July, although the renewal will become official in October. Collin College’s Center of Excellence renewal extends the designation through 2019.
Visit collin.edu/nursing to learn more about Collin College’s nursing program.
About Collin College
Collin College is a community college located in North Texas’ Collin County, the only public college in the county. One of the fastest-growing community colleges or universities in Texas, the college serves nearly 52,000 credit and continuing education students annually and offers more than 100 degrees and certificates in a wide range of disciplines. With seven campuses throughout the college district, Collin College is a partner to business, government and industry, providing customized training and workforce development. Collin College has locations in Plano (Spring Creek Campus), McKinney (Central Park Campus) and Frisco (Preston Ridge Campus). In addition, there are satellite centers in Allen, Plano and Rockwall. For more information, visit collin.edu.