HCC RN program ranked second in state of Maryland

Sherry Greenfield
Hagerstown Herald-Mail

Cory Boushell, a second-year nursing student at Hagerstown Community College, says the education he is receiving is top notch.

"It's been good," the 30-year-old Chambersburg resident said. "It's been great. I really like all the professors. They all have their own niche. They're very kind, and very thorough. They do a really good job, and I've learned a lot."

Hagerstown Community College nursing students, clockwise from left, Alexa Sensenbaugh, Alexis Van Scyoc and Courtney Rourke practice colostomy care procedures during a class focusing on the gastrointestinal system.

Boushell is one of 190 to 200 students enrolled in HCC's Registered Nursing Program, ranked the second best in Maryland for 2021, moving up from third last year.

The ranking comes from California-based, a website that provides nursing education and career information. It ranks the top 10 nursing schools in the state by analyzing current and historical percentage rates of graduates that pass their state nursing exams successfully.

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HCC finished second with a score of 96.22%, according to a news release from HCC. Anne Arundel Community College's nursing program took the top spot, with a total percentage score of 96.59%.

There are 25 registered nursing programs in the state that are ranked.

Programs reviewed include schools that offer associate degrees and bachelor’s degrees in nursing, as well as direct-entry master’s degrees in nursing.

"I am extremely proud of our nursing program,” Karen Hammond, director of HCC'a nursing division said in the release. "The program has been very successful as shown by consistently high pass rates on the (National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses) and the success of our graduates as they enter the work force. This award validates the excellent nursing program that we offer here at HCC."

The NCLEX-RN exam is used by state boards of nursing to test proficiency and grant licensure for each licensed registered nurse.

Hammond said in an interview that the rankings allow people in the state to know how the individual nursing schools are performing.

"I like to get to Number One," she said. "It's a very nice recognition. We have an excellent faculty."

Hammond said it's been difficult teaching some of the nursing programs virtually because of COVID-19.

"Most of the classes are through Zoom, but we do have face-to-face classes," she said. 

HCC has been offering the registered nursing program since 1969. The program is accredited by the Maryland Board of Nursing and the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing.

HCC offers an associate degree program in nursing, a practical nursing program, non-credit certified nursing assistant and geriatric nursing assistant programs, and several transition programs.

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