The College of the Canyons Registered Nursing class of 2021 had a 95.24% National Council Licensure Examination, or NLCEX, pass rate for the first quarter of 2021-22 — the highest quarter result in the program’s history.
Nursing school graduates must pass the NCLEX exam in order to practice in the U.S.
“Our students are finishing stronger and stronger in the midst of a pandemic,” Mary Corbett, director of the college’s nursing program, said in a prepared statement. “Our graduates are well prepared to make contributions of excellence during this challenging time in our community and beyond.”
When in-person college instruction transitioned to remote learning in 2020, the college’s nursing program worked quickly to find ways to help students complete the clinical hours required to graduate and sit for the NCLEX exam.
“No matter what, our classes never stopped,” Lidia Akkus, one of the 40 COC nursing students who passed the NCLEX exam, added in the statement. “COC professors, nursing staff and our director really came together to allow us to continue our education. Their efforts were felt throughout the student body, and I felt so fortunate to be in a program where our professors genuinely care about us and want us to succeed.”
As a result, Akkus felt prepared when she sat down to take the NCLEX exam in August.
“COC’s nursing program prepared me throughout the program as we had assigned Kaplan testing prep to get us used to NCLEX-style questions,” Akkus said. “In addition, our class exams had similar NCLEX-style questions called ‘Select All That Apply,’ which is arguably the most difficult aspect of the NCLEX exam.”
As a COC nursing student, Akkus also took advantage of the college’s Creating Pathways program, a collaborative associate degree in nursing/bachelor’s degree in nursing program with California State University, Northridge, which allowed her to work toward her BSN degree in the summer while enrolled in COC core nursing classes.
“This program covered my textbook expenses and provided me with weekly one-to-one tutoring with an RN,” Akkus added. “This helped me develop critical thinking skills as I was able to talk aloud about pathophysiology and pharmacology.”
Akkus currently works as an RN at Dignity Health and at the COC Nursing Skills Lab where she shares her knowledge with COC nursing students.
“Working in the skills lab solidified my love and desire to teach,” Akkus said. “It has made me so happy to be able to contribute the knowledge I have acquired to students in a school I love.”
Akkus plans on continuing her education and becoming a nurse practitioner.
“I am excited about this journey and am thankful to have attended the College of the Canyons nursing program,” Akkus added.