Mesa Community College’s nursing program was ranked fifth out of 34 Arizona colleges that have a nursing program by the national nursing advisory program RegisteredNursing.org.
MCC was ranked ahead of Northern Arizona University, Grand Canyon University, University of Arizona, and Arizona State University. The college received a score of 95.79 out of 100 for various programs such as ADN, Paramedic, and RN programs.
According to RegisteredNursing.org, Eastern Arizona College was ranked first, Estrella Mountain Community College was second, Arizona College of Nursing-Tempe was third, and Scottsdale Community College was fourth.
According to MCC’s website, the schools were evaluated by the support of their students towards the state board license and beyond and their current and previous pass rates of the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses.
MCC’s nursing program is headed by new nursing chair Diana Breed who took over as chair in April of 2022. Breed took over the chair role from Mary Boyce who is now the chair of Allied Health and Dean and Vice President of Academic Affairs.
“Having Mary Boyce as our Dean increases our ability to reach out in the community because she is able to work with grants and everything that is out there,” said Breed.
Breed and other faculty have worked to ensure students in the nursing program receive all the necessary tools to pass the State Board Test and move on to work in the medical field or go on to receive their Bachelor’s degree.
“We’re above the National Standard and we’re pretty happy about that,” said Breed.
MCC nursing program student and president of the National Nurses Student Association Carrie Hensley said the program does a great job of preparing her and other students of the state board test through intensive training.
According to Hensely, she has been a yoga instructor for over 20 years and decided to take courses at MCC. She wanted to blend eastern and western medicine knowledge to her yoga training.
“I think also the faculty and the higher-ups from the team, Mary Boise to the chair Diana Breed, make themselves available. I can get a response in 24 hours,” said Hensley.
According to Breed, faculty have a connection with students because many wanted to be nurses before becoming professors. Breed ensures that the dedication to the program is not only shown on the student’s side, but also the professors.
According to MCC nurse chair Diana Breed, the nursing faculty trains and supports dedicated students that want to reach the goal of a degree and to pass the Arizona State Board nursing exam.
According to Breed, there are many different reasons why MCC’s nursing program has been so successful. The nursing program continues to advance itself from the help of faculty, staff, and students. One of the ways the program has advanced is because of its resources.
“There’s nursing tutors outside of the nursing program, but they are specifically hired for nursing to help within the tutoring program,” said Breed.
Breed said students have access to a Canvas course that is designed to help them be successful within their program and also have one-on-one meetings with various faculty members in the student success program.
According to Breed, even with the success the nursing program has seen, they are still bouncing back from the pandemic. Attempting to implement new programs within the program such as an online LPN program in the fall of 2023 and the hopeful addition to offer an RN associate degree as a Bachelor degree in the future has the program’s hands full.
MCC’s nursing program was one of the first to come back because of its need to be in-person for certain classes, such as simulation classes. The program couldn’t risk students not receiving hands-on experience.
“We moved back on campus for lab and simulation and then as soon as we could get back in the classroom, we moved back to the classroom,” said Breed.
Diana Breed said she and other faculty members have students fill out an evaluation feedback form that helps the program succeed because they hear what they got wrong and right from the semester.
According to RegisteredNursing.org, another ranking is done that surveys nursing programs and how students performed for the state board test NCLEX-RN. This is the seventh ranking that they conducted to help students choose a nursing school that is the right fit for them.