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Practical nurses pinned

By   Erin Wood

Practical Nursing students celebrated their milestone of completing their coursework with a pinning ceremony July 13 in Robert Fawcett Auditorium. 

Twenty-one students received their pins from a family member, friend, spouse, significant other, or mentor. The ceremony also gave the nursing graduates an opportunity to thank those who supported them throughout their studies. 
Another group of students who completed the practical nurse program at LRSC outreach sites in Grand Forks and Mayville were pinned July 14.

Students have found a lot of success in Lake Region State College’s nursing program, which is in large part a credit to how the instructors have been helping the students. Lake Region State College Nursing graduates rank high when it comes to national board pass rates.

“What I like best is that they truly want to see you succeed, personally and professionally,” said LRSC Nursing Student Stephanie Schnaidt. “They prepare you for a nursing career. They treat you as an individual not a number, which can happen at larger colleges and universities,” she added.

After completing the coursework, students will now take the National Council Licensure Examination for either Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) or Practical Nurses (NCLEX_PN). A recent NCLEX report noted that in 2016 Lake Region State College had a 96.30 percent first-time pass rate on the NCLEX-RN. The practical nursing graduates taking the NCLEX-PN posted a 100 percent first-time pass rate, said LRSC Nursing Coordinator Karen Clementich. 

“Lake Region’s RN and PN pass rates from January 2016 to December 2016 are higher than both national and North Dakota state first time pass rates,” she said.

Lake Region State College is part of the Dakota Nursing Program, a team effort of Bismarck State College, Dakota College at Bottineau, Williston State College and LRSC. The Dakota nursing program was created in 2004 with the hope of serving the community with highly qualified nursing graduates. 

Julie Traynor, director of the Dakota nursing program said, “Our students learn how to be safe and effective nurses at four community colleges and multiple satellite sites located at hospitals and other academic facilities around the state.” 

The Dakota Nursing Program is currently educating over 200 students in the certificate practical nurse program and two-year associate degree nurse (2-year RN) program. 

Nurses are vital for North Dakota, especially in rural areas where there is quite often a shortage. Until 2004, nurses needed a 4-year degree to work in North Dakota. The law was then changed largely to try to fill the rural area in need. This need sparked the creation of the Dakota Nursing Program in that same year.

Lake Region State College has been a large contributor to the program with the college providing practical nursing education to Langdon, Grafton, Cooperstown, Carrington and Northwood in the past. Currently Lake Region State College is educating not only on campus in Devils Lake but also in Grand Forks and Mayville. The Grand Forks location is offering the PN program, with the Devils Lake and Mayville locations offering both the PN and the associate degree ADN programs. Throughout the program students will gain knowledge, confidence and experience needed to continue on and get their four year BSN degree.

“We are committed to providing a high quality yet accessible option for nursing education in North Dakota,” said Julie Traynor, director of Dakota nursing program. She then went on to say that “we are very proud of our consortium first time pass rate as well as the first time pass rates at all of the partner campuses.”