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NEWS ARTICLES

OHIO UNIVERSITY - CHILLICOTHE

 

2017 News Nursing Program Certification
October 30, 2017 : OUC Associate Degree Nursing Program

 

After receiving a “provisional status” by the Ohio State Board of Nursing in 2014 due to NCLEX passing rates below 95%, the Ohio University Chillicothe Associate Degree Nursing program was upgraded to full status earlier this month.  This status change was granted after a lengthy scheduled visit from the Ohio State Board of Nursing where a representative scoured the program curriculum, student files, passing rates, and policies and procedures for not just the Chillicothe campus Associate Degree Nursing program but the same programs at Ohio University Zanesville and Ohio University Southern.  Since these three campuses offer the same program, all campuses are combined into one program for Board certification.


In OUC’s case, three years ago the Board found that the Associate Degree Nursing passing rates for the NCLEX, the National Council Licensure Examination required for all nursing graduates to receive licensure, was below 95%, placing the program on provisional status.  While provisional status does not prevent a college from offering a nursing program it does let the public know that a program may need improvement.  For good standing programs, a visit is scheduled every five years; since OUC’s program was on provisional status, only three years passed between scheduled visits.  During that time, Ohio University Chillicothe Associate Professor and Associate Director of the Nursing program implemented changes through an action plan.  The first change was hiring new faculty, two with a full-time clinical focus to maintain consistency for the students’ clinical experiences.  In conjunction with the Ohio University School of Nursing in Athens, faculty development opportunities were increased with multiple workshops offered, one including a national presenter.  Faculty also teamed up to take a critical look at their course development, teaching strategies, exam questions, and remediation efforts in order to bring innovative learning into the classroom,  assess student knowledge with exam questions modeled in the style of the NCLEX, and help those students struggling with their classes.  Outside of faculty, Nursing Academic Advisor Jeremiah Triplett, along with help from Mary Basham and Jennifer Montgomery, full-time staff members in the nursing office, increased recruitment efforts, advising, and student communication.  Basham and Montgomery also evaluated their filing systems to create a checks and balance system to assure that all student files are complete and up-to-date with accessible, accurate records. Finally, Vance invested in equipment and technology for OUC’s simulation labs including the new high fidelity human patient simulator mannequin, affectionately named “Les Pain” by students.  Thanks to this concentrated effort by all nursing faculty and staff, Vance is now looking forward to a five year visit rather than a three year evaluation.


The OUC nursing program is approved and accredited by three different bodies.  While many Ohio University programs must be approved by just the Ohio University Curriculum Committee, nursing programs must also be approved by the Ohio State Board of Nursing and accredited through the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing.  Approvals from these organizations communicate to the public that our programs offer an excellent and thorough nursing education.  Ohio University nursing degrees are validated which increases student employability, something our community needs.  As one of the largest accredited nursing programs in the region, local hospitals such as Adena and Holzer depend on OUC graduates to fill their staffing needs.  “Adena hires a lot of our new graduates-a large portion; Berger hospital hires new graduates.  Facilities depend on us and the nurses we produce,” said Vance.


The impact of the program’s change in status is great. “A successful visit means we are working towards meeting our program outcomes and is a mark of quality,” remarked Vance.  “It shows we are producing strong graduates to return to our community and provide care.”  The improvements made in the program are apparent as not only are NCLEX rates up, particularly among first time testers, but the incoming Associate Degree Nursing class is one of the largest and most qualified in recent program history.  These successes can be attributed to the nursing faculty and staff at OUC, a strong team OUC administrators are proud of.