Nursing (Associate & Practical)
Looking for a career that is exciting and in high demand? Want to be challenged and inspired?
HCC's nursing programs prepare professionals to care for people in all aspects of health throughout the life cycle. Students learn in our new, state-of-the-art Center for Health Education, in multimedia-equipped classrooms, and high-fidelity simulation labs. Our faculty members are skilled practitioners, teachers, and mentors who are dedicated to your success. Our community-centered approach combines liberal and technical education within the college and in hands-on practicums at regional health care facilities.
HCC offers two traditional nursing programs:
- Associate of science in Nursing (ASN) program: The two-year Associate of science in Nursing (ASN) program prepares students to take the NCLEX-RN exam to become a registered nurse (RN).
- Practical Nurse (PN) certificate program: The forty-week Practical Nurse (PN) certificate program prepares students to take the NCLEX-PN exam to become a licensed practical nurse (LPN).
HCC offers two transition programs:
- 1+1 Program: HCC PN graduates that have graduated in June 2012 or after are eligible to apply to the third semester of the ASN Program.
- LPN2RN Program: LPNs who graduated from HCC's PN program prior to 2012 or who have received their credential from another institution are eligible for placement into the ASN program.
Interested in learning more? Download our nursing information packet!
Please note that acceptance to the ASN and PN programs is competitive, and space is limited in both programs. All applicants must attend one of our monthly information sessions. The deadline for application each year is February 1. Ready to get started? Go here to apply.
Nursing Program Mission
The Holyoke Community College (HCC) Nursing Program mission is to serve the Pioneer Valley and beyond by providing comprehensive, high-quality, evidence-based educational opportunities that are responsive to community health needs and meet the intellectual, esthetic, and practical needs of the diverse nursing student body. The college and nursing program offer a wide range of services appropriate to the nursing program to facilitate the student's success.
Program Effectiveness Data
Program Completion (aggregate vs. option)
- 4 semesters (100%)
- 6 semesters (150%)
Expected Level of Achievement
Will complete program within four (4) semesters (100%)
Year Program Completion Rate
2015 86% (40)
2014 93% (39)
2013 83% (38)
Will complete program within six (6) semesters (150%)
Year Program Completion Rate
2016 - 77%
2015 - 85%
2014 - 77%
2013 - 95%
First Year Out Graduate Surveys
According to the "First Year Out Graduate Surveys" published by the HCC Office of Institutional Research, the following data has been collected on graduates obtaining a job:
Class of 2015 - 20/20 student respondents (100%)
Class of 2014 - 22/22 student respondents (100%)
Class of 2013 - 21/23 student respondents (91%)
The Simulation Suite at HCC's Center for Health Education is a high-fidelity simulation lab. The nursing simulation specialist, along with two patient simulation technicians, performs several hundred simulations per semester.
The LaMere Simulation Suite consists of four private acute medical surgical patient rooms with working wall suction, working simulated oxygen, air and bedside patient monitors. This area is home to four Gaumard high-fidelity adult patient simulators that respond physiologically to the student nurse's interventions.
The Moriarty Simulation Suite consists of two semi-private patient rooms. One room is an obstetric and newborn room that houses a Gaumard high-fidelity newborn infant simulator and a Gaumard full body, high-fidelity, birthing simulator. The second room is a pediatric room for two Gaumard high-fidelity five-year-old child simulators as well as another newborn infant simulator.
The Simulation Suite also has a fully functioning medication dispense system, much like many local facilities. In addition, the Simulation Suite has computers on wheels that allow students to perform bedside documentation on an electronic medical record system.
The purpose of HCC's Simulation Suite is to support healthcare programs through the use of clinical simulation. The suite provides realistic, risk-free, hands-on, clinical learning experiences using current technology, medical equipment, and human patient simulators. The simulation experience promotes greater competency in the nursing students and enhances their ability to demonstrate critical decisions. With the ability to record and stream all patient rooms, hallways, and the medication station, the students are able to interact during a simulation. The students also have secure online access to their recordings to review their skills. The suite promotes health career awareness through education for students in the community. The staff working in the Simulation Suite engages students in realistic clinical scenarios by allowing them to practice technical skills with real equipment and supplies on a human patient simulator. This will assist students in making informed career choices.
HCC's nursing department offers the following support services to help enhance nursing student success:
- Individualized tutoring, group tutoring, peer tutoring, and exam preparation (Sessions scheduled with the nursing educational specialist, nursing faculty, and peer tutors)
- Nursing Success Hour (Offered by the Nursing Educational Specialist and Coordinator of the Nursing Success Program to at-risk students, oftentimes in the evening, with childcare and food funded by HCC Foundation)
- Individualized and group advising (Meetings scheduled with your assigned nursing faculty advisor)
- Clinical lab workshop (Faculty-run sessions to help remediate learned skills)
- Open lab (Offered by the skills lab coordinator for nursing students to practice learned skills)
- Open simulation (Offered by the simulation specialist for nursing students to refine and master basic and complex nursing skills)
- Individualized support (Access to the nursing success program coordinator, educational specialist and nursing faculty to brainstorm personal and academic challenges and be connected with appropriate resources)
HCC's nursing department also offers nursing student events including:
- Nursing Program Day (Orientation held after acceptance and prior to starting the program)
- STAT (Nursing resource team summer preparation program)
- Open House for nursing students' family and friends
- Resource Fair
- Student panels
The HCC Practical Nursing Certificate Program is approved by the Massachusetts Board of Registration in Nursing. The A.S. Nursing Program is approved by the Massachusetts Board of Registration in Nursing and accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing, Inc.