Matthew J. Walker
The Pierce College nursing program has been ranked second in the state with a 93.3% student pass rate in 2019. This student pass rate is a large part of why Pierce College received the award for its nursing program.
The passing rate was higher in previous years, but the 93.3% pass rate for the 2019 academic year still ranks among the highest in the state. Tiffany Smith-Fromm, nursing program director, is thrilled that the program has received this recognition. “It’s nice for other people to recognize that we’re doing a good job,” said Smith-Fromm.
“I think it’s beneficial for faculty and staff to see.”
Smith-Fromm went on to describe Pierce nursing graduates as having a high job placement rate. She also explained how well-respected the program is in the community. Smith-Fromm and other nursing program staff also remain available to help students even after they graduate.
“[We have to] make sure our students are being supported when they leave here,” said Smith-Fromm, “and when I have a student call me and said ‘I’m really struggling in my first job, can I meet with you,’ of course you can—come in.”
The nursing program offers a full-time licensed practical nurse to registered nurse option every summer for years. The nursing staff looks to reach out to more of the community in 2020 by expanding on this already-existing program. They want to provide a part-time option for individuals that don’t have the time to attend classes full-time.
“If you’re working and you’ve been working for 10 years, and you’ve got a life and a family, and you can’t just quit your job to go to school,” Smith-Fromm said, “then you have to try to figure out a way to do it differently—and so that’s the hope with the LPN (to RN) part-time program.”
The part-time LPN to RN training will become available starting in the summer of 2020. The full-time program is offered year-round and is a one-year program offered for students with their LPN license. Nursing professor Vicki Dickson says the program offered at the Puyallup campus is competitive with those offered at four-year universities and said:
“When I got my nursing degree it was from a four-year school. I think a lot of people overlook the two-year schools, because they go: ‘I’ve got to go to the University of Washington or PLU.’ They think the two-year schools are not as good, and I can tell you now having gone to UW, WSU and PLU—this program I feel like is just as good if not better than the programs I went through.”
In the eyes of both Smith-Fromm and Dickson, the Pierce College nursing staff received the second-in-state accommodation through hard work, providing students with a program that gives them a good education and a high-chance at career opportunities. For questions on the nursing program at Pierce College, contact the college admissions staff or the nursing department directly.
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