February 12, 2016

BY JOHN D. HOMAN
Logan Media Services

CARTERVILLE – The John A. Logan College nursing program has a reason to boast. It was just learned this week that Logan has the best community college pass rate for registered nurse candidates participating in the statewide standardized test administered by the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulations.

To be specific, that ranking involves community college nursing programs with 30 or more class members. There are 51 community colleges with nursing programs throughout the state. Moreover, John A. Logan ranks among the top five statewide even when compared with test results of nursing students at four-year schools.

“Our pass rate for 2015 was 97 percent,” said JALC Director of Nursing, Marilyn Falaster. “The national average is 85 percent and the state average is 86 percent, but we have maintained a pass rate of 92 percent or better each of the last five years.”

Falaster said her staff and students should be proud of their accomplishments.

“It’s one thing to be ranked so high among fellow community colleges, but to rank so high with four-year schools is pretty amazing,” she said. “We simply have a great nursing faculty here at Logan that spends a great deal of time working with our students. Once our students put their money and time into the program, we want to do everything we can (as a staff) to help them succeed.”

Professor emeritus Barb Patchett, who is also an RN advisor, said there will be no shortage of need for quality nurses in the immediate future.

“And that’s not just women. About half of our students now are men,” she said. “According to recent polls, the American public still ranks nursing as the No. 1 trusted profession. And John A. Logan College is a wonderful place to get prepared for the workforce. Not only am I proud of the results of this most recent state exam, but am also proud of the people who graduate our program and move on to big-city hospitals in St. Louis, Chicago, or elsewhere. Opportunity is everywhere. You just have to take advantage of what you have learned here.”

Patchett added that JALC’s online nursing program is the only one of its kind in Illinois.

“We have done some really great things with our nursing program here in the past, and I am confident that we will do even more great things in the future,” she said.