Austin Community College District’s (ACC) Nursing program is being recognized as one of the best in Texas. A new report released by Nursing Schools Almanac –– a comprehensive and analytical resource for prospective students — ranked ACC’s associate degree in nursing (ADN) program 5th overall, outranking every other Central Texas institution.
The Almanac ranked programs based on several factors through an extensive database from 2011 through 2020, including:
- National Council Licensure Examination for Practical Nurses (NCLEX-PN) pass rate
- Academic prestige and perceived value
- Breadth and depth of nursing programs offered
“I am proud of the work our faculty and students continue to do to meet the growing demand of nurses to serve Central Texas,” says Dr. Nina Almasy, ACC dean of Health Sciences. “There is no secret we are facing a shortage of nurses. As one of the largest and well-respected nursing programs in the state, our program remains committed to filling the workforce need while continuing to offer high-quality education by utilizing state of the art simulation technology and innovative teaching strategies.”
ACC Nursing Student Achievements
More than 250 nursing students graduate from ACC every year, with 247 already earning their degree so far in 2021. Graduates are eligible to take the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) to become a licensed RN. Pass rates among first-time test-takers at ACC averaged 93.9 percent over the last decade according to the Almanac — consistently exceeding state and national averages.
Growing Need for Skilled Nurses
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects there will be a need for 1.1 million new RNs by 2022 due to healthcare expansions and upcoming retirements. BLS says over the next decade, employment is expected to grow 7 percent faster than average for all occupations with an average yearly salary of more than $76,000.
ACC provides a full nursing career pathway, from the fast track certified nurse aide (CNA) (currently offered as part of the 50 percent fast-track tuition discount), to an advanced certificate in vocational nursing (LVN) or an associate degree in professional nursing to become an RN. The college also offers a pathway toward a bachelor’s degree in nursing through the RN-to-BSN program.
“My experience at ACC has equipped me with the skills, compassion, and spirit of service to tend to the needs of others. Working toward my Professional Nursing degree has been a challenge, but rewarding,” says Amarachi Amaikwu, ACC professional nursing student. “Throughout my time, I also worked full-time as a licensed vocational nurse. On top of that, the snowstorm in February took a lot of strength and effort to overcome and catch up on school work. I am so excited to continue at ACC and work toward my BSN this fall.”
“I became a Licensed Vocational Nurse decades ago and told myself I would go back to school when my son was older. I got just comfortable enough financially, I didn’t go back until now. My son is now 33 years old. I guess it’s better late than never,” says Nichelle Hudnall, ACC professional nursing student. “I had to cut my hours to do the program and overcome some major test anxiety, but the professors were firm and fair. They pushed me out of my comfort zone which helped me grow.”
For more information, visit the college’s Nursing Program webpage.