The Muskegon Community College Nursing Program has been granted full continuing accreditation through 2027 by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN).
The MCC program once again has received the highest praise from the ACEN, which granted it the maximum eight years of full continuing accreditation without conditions. Approved by the State of Michigan for many decades, the MCC program successfully sought national accreditation for the first time in 2007 and has retained it since.
MCC’s Nursing Program is currently ranked second among all the schools within the State of Michigan as the best institutions to pursue an associate degree in nursing in 2020.
The rankings, conducted by nursingprocess.org, were the result of a thorough analysis using a well-defined methodology of the 72 schools approved by the Michigan Board of Nursing. The rankings were based on four weighted factors – academic quality (30%), the NCLEX-RN First Time Pass Rate for the past four years (30%), affordability (20%), and the nursing school’s reputation (20%).
For years, MCC nursing graduates have perennially exceeded the state and national averages for first-time passing of the National Council Licensing Examination for the RNs (NCLEX-RN) and the National Council Licensing Examination for PNs (NCLEX-PN). In recent years, the MCC graduates have frequently recorded 100% pass rates. NCLEX examinations are designed to test the knowledge, skills and abilities essential to the safe and effective practice of nursing.
“While there are other schools that have a 100% pass rate nationally, what makes MCC’s accomplishment all the more impressive is that we have a non-competitive enrollment,” said MCC Nursing and Health Programs Director Chris Patterson, MSN, RN, CNE. “Any student who meets the requirements to come into the program will get a seat—maybe not right away, but they will be admitted to the program. In other words, students don’t need to have a 4.0 GPA to enter our program and don’t need to reapply for admission if they don’t get in right away.”
Patterson praised the MCC nursing faculty for going the extra mile to pursue the national accreditation, a standard not sought by all nursing institutions, to ensure the profession’s highest standards for the 161 students in the program.
ACEN, whose site review team visited the campus in October 2019, supports the interests of nursing education, nursing practice, and the public by the functions of accreditation. The voluntary, self-regulatory process allows non-governmental associations to recognize educational institutions or programs that have been found to meet or exceed standards and criteria for educational quality.
“We’re an associate degree program preparing students to become RNs,” said Patterson. “Students also have the option of exiting to take the LPN licensing examination and work as LPNs.”
The MCC nursing program traces its roots to 1962, when an educational unit in practical nursing was established within the Vocational-Technical Department. The Practical Nursing Program received Michigan Board of Nursing approval in 1965 and in 1978 became part of MCC’s Charles H. Hackley Center for Allied Health Education.
In 1979, representatives from MCC, the Michigan Board of Nursing, and the Michigan Department of Education met to determine the feasibility of developing a career ladder Associate Degree Nursing program at Muskegon Community College. The same year, the Hackley Hospital Board of Trustees and the MCC Board of Trustees signed an agreement calling for the establishment of a career ladder nursing program at the College to supplant the Hackley Hospital School of Nursing Diploma Program and the MCC Practical Nursing Program.
In Fall 1981, the MCC Nursing Program admitted its first class of 40 students. The following year, the first class of PNs graduated from the new curriculum. In 1983, the first class of ADNs graduated from MCC. Since 1985, the Charles H. Hackley School of Allied Health Nursing Program at MCC has remained fully approved by the Michigan Board of Nursing and a primary supplier of nurses for Muskegon and West Michigan.