College lauded for nursing program, student support services
Holyoke Community College's associate degree program in nursing was ranked one of the best in Massachusetts by RegisteredNursing.org, an online repository of information and educational resources for registered nurses and those aspiring to enter the field.
Meanwhile, HCC also received the award for Best Student Support Services from Intelligent.com in its 2023 listings of the top community colleges in Massachusetts.
In its 2023 RN program rankings, RegisteredNursing.org listed HCC's associate of science in nursing degree program (ADN) fifth among 41 college and university programs in Massachusetts and number one in the state west of Worcester.
To determine its rankings, RegisteredNursing.org analyzed student performance over the previous five years on the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN). Aspiring registered nurses in the United States must pass the exam before they may begin to practice.
"We are firm believers in providing students with all the information possible to make the right choice when selecting a nursing school," RegisteredNursing.org said in its introduction to the 2023 rankings. "With this in mind, we feel a great way to provide this transparency is through studying nursing programs and their students' performance on the NCLEX-RN exam."
For 2023, RegisteredNursing.org gave HCC a score of 94.96, an average that gives greater weight to NCLEX-RN pass rates in the most recent exam year.
HCC's nursing and radiologic technology programs are based at the college's Center for Health Education & Simulation on Jarvis Avenue, near the main HCC campus on Homestead Avenue.
Also, Intelligent.com, an online guide to higher education, recently gave HCC its award for Best Student Support Services in its 2023 listings for the top community colleges in Massachusetts.
HCC prides itself on its student support services, particular in areas that address barriers outside the classroom that may hinder a student's ability to succeed, such as its Thrive Student Resource Center and Food Pantry; its Homestead Market, a campus convenience store that accepts SNAP benefits (federal food subsidies); and its free Itsy Bitsy Child Watch program, which was singled out in Intelligent.com's report on HCC.
HCC student Abby Lavoie, of Ludlow, has been dropping off her 18-month-old daughter at HCC's Itsy Bitsy Child Watch Center this fall so she can attend classes on campus.
"It's the only reason I'm able to come to school," she recently said. "I wouldn't be here without it."
PHOTO: HCC student-nurses practice their craft at the college's Center for Health Education and Simulation.