Nursing Program Information
Nursing is a profession which combines both the art and science of compassionate care for people of all ages, from all walks of life, in a wide variety of health care settings to promote health, prevent illness and to care for ill, disabled and dying people. Advocacy, promotion of a safe environment, research, participation in shaping health policy and in patient and health systems management, and education are also key nursing roles. (International Council of Nurses, 2014).
STCC Department of Nursing Philosophy:
Nursing education, at the associate degree level, is the minimum educational preparation for registered nurse practice. Students are viewed as self-directed in the learning process, interacting with educators and other health-care providers in attainment of nursing competencies. The graduate is prepared to communicate effectively and provide health promotion and health maintenance as well as administer direct care to persons and families with health problems.
Faculty is responsible for assisting students towards academic and career achievement in a positive, caring and encouraging environment. Faculty responsibilities include: supporting nursing ethical and practice standards, acting as an advocate in promotion of the profession, providing a role model for students, and demonstrating a commitment to professional growth.
STCC offers an Associate Degree in Nursing. We prepare students for careers as Registered Nurses. Student graduating from our program are eligible to take the licensing exam by the National Council Examination (NCLEX-RN) to become registered nurses (RN).
Our program admits new students each Fall and is designed as a two year (four semesters) day-time program. Although the curriculum is laid out over four semesters, we strongly encourage students to complete the non-nursing courses prior to applying to the program.
The STCC Nursing curriculum is rigorous and includes classroom lectures, a nursing skills laboratory, participation in patient simulation in our nationally recognized SIMS Medical Center (www.simsmedicalcenter.com), and clinical rotations each semester which take place in a variety of hospitals and health care agencies in the Springfield and the Pioneer Valley region of Western MA.
Although the STCC Nursing Program is a day-time program, clinical experiences may be scheduled during both evening and weekend hours.
The STCC Nursing Program is approved and regulated by the Massachusetts Board of Registration in Nursing: http://www.mass.gov/eohhs/gov/departments/dph/programs/hcq/dhpl/nursing/
Massachusetts Board of Registration in Nursing
239 Causeway Street, 2nd Floor,
Boston, MA 02114
Phone: 617.973.0900 or 800.414.0168
The program also has full accreditation by the Accrediting Commission for Education in Nursing, Inc.
Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN)
3343 Peachtree Road, Suite 850
Atlanta, Georgia 30326
Graduates of the nursing program receive an Associate of Science in Nursing degree, and are eligible to take the computer-based adaptive National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN®). This test is offered through: NCLEX Testing with Pearson VUE; Pearson VUE delivers the NCLEX examination for the National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN).
- The Board of Registration in Nursing (MA BORN) in Massachusetts is the state agency that issues nursing licenses. The mission of the Massachusetts Board of Registration in Nursing is to protect the health, safety and welfare of the citizens of the Commonwealth through the fair and consistent application of the statutes and regulations governing nursing practice and nursing education.
- For all Nursing program applicants, please read the information provided on the MA BORN web site regarding the requirement for all licensed nurse to meet the definition of Good Moral Character, that you will need to attest to when applying for a license after graduation:
What can you do with this degree?
Registered Nurses assist in providing safe, quality care to patients who are sick, injured, convalescent, and disabled, and provide compassionate care and support for the dying and their family. Graduates will be prepared for employment in multiple health care settings such as: hospitals/medical centers; private medical practices; home care; hospice care; long term care/nursing homes; assisted living facilities; schools; clinics; rehabilitation facilities.
According to the U.S. Department of labor and industry, jobs in healthcare are steadily on the rise due to the aging world’s population. We are already seeing shortages of nurses, but by the year 2020, the nation will have a shortage of more than 8000,000 nurses. Nursing can be a rewarding career in many ways.
- First time pass rate on National Council Licensure Exam for Nurses (NCLEX): (Report period April- September)
- Students Completing the Program:
- Graduates Obtaining Jobs:
Applying to the Nursing Program
- All materials for application must be received by the Admissions Office no later than February 1 of the application year to receive acceptance into the Fall class.
- Fall start only, day classes
- Nursing is a very competitive program. We strongly recommended you attend one of our monthly Nursing Information Sessions in advance to help prepare for your application. For a schedule of upcoming Nursing Information Sessions click here.
1. High School Diploma, HiSET or GED
2. Completion of Algebra 2 (grade 80 or higher), or its equivalent, at a high school or accredited college OR
- placement at the College-math level on an STCC placement exam, OR
- a higher level math course (grade of 77+) within the last five years (5 year requirement may be waived if you have taken a higher level math).
3. Successful completion of TEAS VI (The Test of Essential Academic Skills, version 6)
- This assessment test is offered at STCC.
- Registration link: http://www.atitesting.com/
- It is strongly recommended that the preparation book be utilized. The book is available in the STCC bookstore or on-line through ATI.
- It is recommended that individuals not attempt to retake the TEAS test prior to 30 days since the last sitting, allowing time for remediation. The highest score earned will be applied for admission evaluation if multiple attempts are made.
- Do not wait for the last month to test. FEBRUARY 1ST of the application year is the deadline.
- Successful completion is meeting or exceeding grading benchmarks. Benchmarks (minimum scores) for the program are as follows :
- Students are able to take the exam up to three (3) times to meet the benchmark scores. Scores are good for three (3) years prior to entrance. If taken multiple times, submit all score reports.
4. Complete the Nursing Admission Checklist
- Spring mid-term grades of application year are not considered for admission.
- Highest grade is considered for repeat courses.
- Science course over five years old by the start of the program (fall of application year) must be repeated. Each science course can be repeated only once within that time frame (If you have sciences greater than 5 years old you may be given consideration if you are competitive in other areas.)
- The following courses are examples that will satisfy the General Elective requirement:
- A type written letter on official letterhead from an employer for any applicant with direct patient care experience.The letter should describe the direct patient care job experience and length of time in that position. No other letters of reference or recommendations should be submitted.
- All materials must be submitted for each new application year.
- How to strengthen your application: (The following are examples of how to strengthen your application for admission to the nursing program. The more you have completed, the stronger your application which makes you a more competitive applicant).
- Completing Anatomy & Physiology 1&2 prior to applying.
- Completing at least all first semester Co-Requisite courses prior to applying.
- Completing ALL Co-Requisite courses prior to applying.
- Earning higher grades in all Co-Requisite courses.
- Completing science and General Education courses at STCC
- Prior experience with direct patient care (Examples: Presently working as a CNA, Medical Assistant, EMT, Paramedic, LPN).
- Earning previous degree(s).
- Earning previous degree(s) in healthcare.
- Acceptance letters are mailed out to students in early April. Although regular classes begin in September, accepted students must attend two mandatory sessions in the spring and early summer.
- A one day orientation is held in mid-May
- A three day Student Success work-shop held in mid-June
- Transfer Students: Any student wishing to transfer from another accredited School of Nursing must meet all admission requirements for the Nursing program at STCC. All requests for transfer are evaluated on both an individual and seat-available basis.
- L.P.N. Applicants seeking Advanced Placement:
- An LPN with current registration with the Board of Nursing must first apply and be admitted as a student into the Nursing program. Once admitted, a challenge examination for LPNs will be administered within the Nursing Department. Contact the Director of Nursing once you receive an acceptance letter. This exam will be scheduled and administered at a date to be determined by Nursing department prior to the summer success work-shop. A student may take the examination once; no retakes are permitted. This examination provides the LPN with an opportunity to validate knowledge of the concepts usually presented in NUR-101 (Fundamentals of Nursing), which is the foundation for the subsequent nursing courses. All LPNs who successfully complete the challenge examination will be granted credit for Nursing 1 (8 credits) but are required to pay for the granted credits. This information will then be reflected on your final transcript.
- Student records must indicate that the accumulated theory and clinical experience of the student meet the curriculum requirements for School of Practical Nursing in Massachusetts.
- The LPN license must be in good standing without restriction or violation.
- The accepted LPN candidates with advanced placement must take NUR-124 (1 credit) during the fall semester. This course needs to be completed before entering the spring semester.
- LPNs challenging the Nursing I course will still need to successfully complete the math dosage calculation for Nursing I before the first semester.
Additional conditions may apply and will be determined by the Director of Nursing on an individual basis
Applying for Re-Admission to this Program
Students who leave this health program before completing it may apply for re-admission. Students reapplying to the program must resubmit an application, all supporting documents and essay with updated official transcripts. Students will be eligible to receive up to a maximum of one re-admission. Click here for information about the re-admission policy and process.
Additional Requirements for Accepted Nursing Students
- CORI/SORI: All accepted nursing students must undergo CORI (Criminal Offender Record Information) and SORI (Sexual Offender Record Information) or other relevant check(s). Dependent on the findings, participation in the Nursing program or clinical affiliation related thereto may be denied. For further information, please contact the Office of the Dean. Note: Additional CORI/SORI checks may be required by affiliating agencies prior to clinical placement.
- Individuals with previous court convictions must also meet the eligibility requirements of the Massachusetts Board of Registration in Nursing for licensure. Prospective students should review the Good Moral Character CMR set by the Massachusetts Board of Registration in Nursing. For further information, please visit http://www.mass.gov/dph/boards/rn
- Fingerprint: Some clinical agencies require fingerprinting in addition to CORI/SORI. The cost of this is approximately $39.00 and is to be covered by the student.
Drug Screening: The School of Health & Patient Simulation is committed to high quality education and providing excellent clinical experiences to students in the health professions. Students are expected to perform at their highest functional level during all educational and clinical experiences in order to maximize the learning environment and ensure patient safety. Thus a student’s performance at all times must be free of any impairment caused by prescription or non-prescribed drugs or alcohol use. Students enrolling in Health Professions programs are required to undergo and pass a drug and/or alcohol screening analysis in order to be eligible for placement in a clinical facility. Students assigned to clinical education experiences at our contracted facilities may also be required to undergo and pass random drug screening analysis in order to remain at that clinical facility and in the program. Students who fail a screening, or refuse to submit to a screening within the designated time frame will be ineligible for clinical placement, which will affect their status in the program. Students with a positive drug test may challenge the results of the test within five (5) days of notification of the drug test results. This challenge must be in writing and delivered to the college’s Director of Health Services.
Students may re-apply for re-entry into a health program after one year. Requests for re-admission will be considered on a case by case basis. Students who are notified of a “negative-dilute” result will submit to a random drug test within 24 hours of the previous test in order to confirm the negative status of the screening. Additional random testing may also be required under the guidelines listed in your program’s handbook. A student who claims that he/she tested positive due to a prescription drug and was unable to clarify this matter with the medical review officer (MRO) from the drug testing lab shall be required to provide evidence from a health care provider of the type of prescription, dates of permissible use and dosage amounts within five (5) days of notification of the drug test results to the college’s Director of Health Services. Failure to complete this notification will result in the student being ineligible for clinical placement, which will affect their status in the program.Students who test positive for marijuana are unable to continue in a clinical placement, which will affect their status in the health program.
A student who has a prescription for Medical Marijuana and tests positive for marijuana will also be ineligible to participate in clinical placement due to the federal restriction on the use of marijuana. While the use of Medical Marijuana is permitted in Massachusetts, marijuana remains classified as a controlled substance under federal law and its use, possession, and/or cultivation at educational institutions remains prohibited.
- Mandatory Health Records: All required health records, immunizations, and physicals MUST be filed in the STCC Health Services office by July 1 of the admission year. The Health Office is located in the Building 20 Suite, third floor center (413-755-4230). The Nursing Program reserves the right to rescind the admission status of any student not meeting, as well as not submitting, all post-admission requirements in a timely manner.
- CPR Certification: Students are required to maintain CPR certification (American Heart Association Professional Rescuer) throughout the entire nursing program. Certification must be valid on or before August 15 of the admission year and annually thereafter unless the certification covers a multi-year window. CPR Certification is available through STCC. Information can be found at: Health Care Training: https://www.stcc.edu/wt/healthcare-programs/
- Programmatic Technical Standards: Technical Standards reflect performance abilities and essential skills that are necessary for a student to successfully complete the requirements of a specified program. Students with disabilities must be able to meet the technical standards of the program with reasonable accommodations as defined by the American with Disabilities Act (ADA.) See the link below. Program Technical Standard forms found in your admission acceptance packet must be submitted to the Office of Health Services by July 1. Health Services office is located in building 20, room 320 (413 755-4230). Click here for Technical Standards Acknowledgement Form.
- Students must meet the requirements of the Health Program latex policy. Click on the link below for full policy information.
- The School of Nursing reserves the right to rescind the admission status of any student not meeting all pre- and post- admission requirements.
Nursing Drug Screening
Health Program Latex Policy
Student Latex Release Form
The Nursing Program bases its curriculum on:
Our Nursing graduates will meet the program outcomes and can be viewed here: Nursing Program Outcomes .
- Segments of the Nursing courses are planned in conjunction with the clinical agencies, and may deviate from the College hours.
Total (NURS.AS) Curriculum Program Credits: 70
All qualified nursing students are encouraged to participate in the Honors Program.
Matriculation and Advancement
Note: The Nursing Program has developed a leveled math content area that is integrated into the nursing curriculum.You will be required to prove proficiency in medication dosage calculation by successfully passing an exam with a grade of 90 or better each semester in order to progress through the program.
In order for a student to matriculate in the Nursing Program, the student must maintain a quality point average of 2.30 (C+) or 77% in each nursing course.
The final course grade is calculated as follows:
- The average of three term exams and a final cumulative exam will equal 90% of the final grade. The grade of a special project will equal 10% of the final grade. A final course grade of 2.30 (77%) or better is required to pass the course.
- A student must pass the clinical portion of the course in order to qualify to write the final exam (grading for clinical portion is Pass-Fail). Transcript grade for clinical failure will be recorded as F.
- An average of 2.30 (77+) on these exams is required to pass the course. The final course grade, if below C+ or 77 will be recorded as a letter grade with transcript stamped: NOT ELIGIBLE FOR MATRICULATION IN NURSING and the DATE.
- No more than one failed nursing course may be repeated.
Eligibility for Promotion
- Students must attend scheduled lectures and clinical rotations, simulation and the skills lab.
- Students must pass academically and clinically.
- Students must achieve a minimum grade of “C+” (77+) in all other required courses, in order to be eligible for graduation.
- Students must pass a medication dosage calculation exam each semester.
Additional General Information
- New graduate nurses often work in a variety of settings with opportunities in Long Term care and chronic care settings, rather than critical care environments.
- Students with previous or current health care experience may have an easier transition in the program. Applicants with direct patient care-experience will be given extra consideration during our selection process.
- If you need to work while studying in the program; we strongly recommend direct patient care jobs. Also, for students without prior hands-on patient care you should consider part-time work directly with patients (e.g. work as a Certified Nurse’s Aide or other similar position).
- Some students need to continue to work during the program. We strongly recommended that students work part-time only (less than 20 hours per week) to be able to dedicate the necessary study and preparation time for this rigorous program.
- Work schedules need to remain flexible to accommodate the students nursing program needs. We cannot accommodate students’ work and other scheduling requests.
- STCC Graduates are eligible to become licensed in any or all of the United States and its properties.
- There are additional costs associated with enrollment in the Nursing Program. These are approximate costs through the STCC bookstore (and may be covered by Financial Aid) and include, but are not limited to:
- Books and Software Resources -
- STCC Health Program fee (per semester): $400.00
- 1st semester costs include: uniform, lab coat, student Nurse ID, stethoscope, BP cuff and lab kit
- Uniform: $42.00 to $82.00 per set
- Lab coat: $35-$45.00
- Student Nurse ID ($14.00)
- Stethoscope: $85.00-$110.00
- Blood Pressure Cuff: $50.00
- Lab Kit: $ 225.00
- STCC Nursing Graduation Pins: $45.00-$250.00 (4th semester)
- NCLEX and state RN License Application fees: $550.00 (4th semester)
- Drug Testing: $70 each time tested.
- Fingerprinting: $39
- ATI Testing: Cost varies each semester. $70 per semester
- EMR: Cost varies each semester. $40 per semester.
- Recommended: All admitted students it is recommended that a personal laptop computer. The minimum operational requirements are as follows: Nursing Program Laptop Specifications
- Required: Each student will also need to have a handheld electronic device. Acceptable devices are: iTouch, AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, or any other handheld device with the ability to download applications and textbooks.
Additional information will be made available to all admitted students and fully explained at the nursing orientation for new students.
Seamless Transition and Advanced Degrees
The Institute of Medicine (IOM) recognizes that nurses are vital to the successful transformation of our health care system, and that nurses prepared with Associate Degrees in Nursing (ADN) are essential to the delivery of health care. An additional recommendation is that the ADN degree be a first step in career-long academic progression. Nurses should achieve higher levels of education and training through an improved education system that promotes seamless academic progression. The IOM recommends the proportion of nurses with a baccalaureate degree be increased by 2020. STCC and other Nursing education programs in Massachusetts are working collaboratively toward meeting that goal to make it easier for ADN Registered Nurses to obtain advanced degrees.
Learn more about the STCC/UMASS Amherst Seamless Curriculum Track Associate’s Degree to RN to BS in Nursing Program: http://www.umass.edu/nursing/node/731
STCC has nursing articulation agreements with numerous baccalaureate programs such as American International College, Elms College, Framingham State University, the University of Massachusetts - all campuses, and Russell Sage College in New York. Students accepted into STCC’s associate degree program are also accepted into the bachelor’s degree nursing program of their choice to complete a four year course of study.
Additionally, STCC nursing graduates transfer to many other colleges and universities offering advanced degrees. Students entering STCC holding accredited bachelor, masters degrees or higher degrees may qualify for entry to a Masters in Nursing or Doctor of Nursing Practice degree upon completion of the associate degree from STCC. Individual advising will occur.
Limitless opportunities are possible. Some opportunities are linked below:
Strategic Partnership: STCC has a strategic partnership with the National League for Nursing (NLN) through their ACES EXPRESS program for Nursing faculty and students. http://www.acesxpress.org/
Nursing Faculty and Departmental Staff