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Practical nursing students carry on a 100 percent testing record for fifth year in a row

Practical nursing students carry on a 100 percent testing record for fifth year in a row

By Rachel Johnson, Staff Writer

Tuesday, July 10, 2012 at 6:02 pm

Article Available Online here

The 2012 graduating practical nursing class at Brunswick Community College has a lot to celebrate.

The class was the 30th class to graduate this past May from the program at BCC, and for the fifth year in a row all graduates passed their state board exam on the first try.

 “We had a 100 percent pass the board of nursing,” said Tanya Mace, nursing director. “All 20 graduates passed the boards on their first time. We have a 100 percent test-taker pass rate.”

When Mace and the rest of the staff in the practical nursing program at BCC heard the news in early June, they were ecstatic and say there was even some hooting and hollering on the nursing wing at the college.

“I am real proud of them,” Mace said. “When we found out everyone passed we were excited and there was screaming down the hall.”

The test, Mace says, shows the students are safe practitioners. The majority of the students in the 2012 graduating class have already found jobs in their field and others plan to continue their education.

Throughout the course of the class, students and instructors develop a close bond as they are working one-on-one with each other. This past school year was a challenging one for the staff as the lead instructor battled cancer.

“We have a dedicated faculty. There was a tremendous change this year when we found out at the beginning of the year that our lead instructor had cancer,” Mace said.

The news was tough on the faculty and staff and left them shorthanded much of the year.

“The faculty pulled together and tried not to let it affect the program. Everyone worked hard, and the students’ compassion to the faculty made it easier. They pulled together with us. They are a very special class,” Mace said.

The program is intensive. In 2007 Mace redesigned the program.

“It is a tough program, but the way it is set up by the time students are studying nursing, all they do is eat and sleep nursing,” Mace said.

If students have completed all of the prerequisites, they are eligible for graduation in two semesters. Prerequisites may be taken in the summer semester and include basic anatomy and physiology, expository writing and life-span development.

The fall semester consists of 25 hours including practical nursing I and II and pharmacology. The spring semester is 12 hours and includes practical nursing III and nutrition/diet therapy.

During the fall semester courses overlap so all 25 hours are not conflicting. Mace said setting up the course this way allows students to focus entirely on nursing when it is time.

“We are about student success because this PN program can change a life in Brunswick County,” Mace said. “So many of our students are looking to change their lives, their future and their finances.”

The next practical nursing class begins in late July and runs through May 2013. The class is already full as students are prepared to embark on a journey through their education.


For more information on the program visit 

Rachel Johnsonis a staff writer at The Brunswick Beacon. Reach her at 754-6890 or

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