Nov 23, 2015

FVCC Health Care Programs Celebrate 100 Percent Pass Rates


Flathead Valley Community College’s surgical technology, practical nursing, registered nursing, physical therapist assistant and paramedicine programs have been recognized for their most recent graduates achieving a 100 percent pass rate on the national certification examinations, the last step needed to enter careers in the health care workforce.


The college received an annual merit award from the National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting for achieving a 100 percent pass rate on the Certified Surgical Technologist (CST) examination. In addition, the college was awarded a Certificate of Excellence for achieving a 100 percent pass rate for the past five years. This marks the 10th anniversary FVCC’s surgical technology program has achieved a 100 percent pass rate on the national exam. The CST is widely recognized in the health care community as the foremost credential for surgical technologists in the nation.


“These exceptional pass rates are strong evidence of the quality and commitment of our students, as well as the strength of our faculty and staff in providing the training necessary to succeed,” said Surgical Technology Program Director Rob Blackston. “The national certifying exam is very challenging, and we are extremely proud of our graduates for achieving this honor.”


The college’s two-year physical therapist assistant program, established in 2011, is celebrating its third consecutive year of 100 percent pass rates of graduates who have taken the National Physical Therapy Examination. Physical Therapist Assistant Program Director Janice Heil credits the success of the program to the quality of the students who enter the program, noting most of the graduates have accepted job offers upon successful completion of the national exam.


“The students first have to get through the obstacle of a competitive application, then they need to meet the demands of a challenging, fast-paced classroom and clinical program,” said Heil. “Our students are strong academically, and they are compassionate and committed, have solid communication skills and are critical thinkers.”


For FVCC’s four-semester paramedicine program, graduates have passed the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians practical and written examinations at 100 percent three of the last four years. According to Paramedicine Program Director Kris Long, the demanding program maintains high academic and professional standards to guarantee student success and top-notch patient care.


“Our graduates are the front-line professionals who care for patients during their most vulnerable moments,” said Long. “You want the very best licensed paramedics treating you and your loved ones in an emergency situation, and that’s what we aim to produce.”


Since 2007, graduates of FVCC’s two-year practical nursing program have passed the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX) at a rate between 95 and 100 percent. The most recent graduating class, comprised of 20 graduates, all passed the national exam on their first attempt, compared to the national average of an 82 percent pass rate among first-time test takers.


Also being recognized is the college’s one-year registered nursing (RN) program, established in 2012, for its consistent NCLEX pass rate averaging between 90 to 100 percent among first-time test takers. Most recently, all RN graduates passed the NCLEX at first attempt, compared to the national average of 85 percent. Nursing Program Director Myrna Ridenour applauds both nursing programs and their graduates for their solid history of success, especially with the evolving national examination becoming increasing difficult every three years.


“Success of the nursing programs are a result of well-prepared students who are dedicated to becoming safe and competent nurses and faculty who are committed to the success of each student,” said Ridenour. “It is a personal pleasure for me to work with faculty and students who strive to support excellence in health care for our community.”


Ridenour added, “When I see a nursing graduate working in the community and hear about that graduate’s career success, it is a point of pride knowing FVCC and our nursing program community played a large role in that success.”