Chattahoochee Technical College’s practical nursing program missed its third consecutive year as the top-ranked program in Georgia by the slimmest of margins in 2020. The college’s PN …
Chattahoochee Technical College’s practical nursing program missed its third consecutive year as the top-ranked program in Georgia by the slimmest of margins in 2020.
The college’s PN program was ranked No. 2 in the state this year after being edged out of the top spot by Southeastern Technical College, which scored just 0.04 points higher than CTC.
Southeastern Tech received the top overall score of 99.58 in the annual assessment by practicalnursing.org, followed by CTC at 99.54 and Georgia Piedmont Technical College with a third-place score of 98.06.
“I think it’s an honor to deserve such high recognition,” CTC Dean of Nursing Quetina Pittman-Howell said. “This ranking speaks to the hard work of our practical nursing faculty and the caliber of nursing students that we at Chattahoochee Tech are afforded to teach and prepare for nursing practice.”
The dean said the college is “always on the lookout for program rankings” from websites and publications.
"When I was called about this news, I was extremely grateful and thankful for the call and the ranking,” she said.
The website analyzed 21 PN programs in the state and ranked the Top 10 based on pass rates for the National Council Licensure Examination-Practical Nursing for up to the past five years.
The pass rates were averaged together and weighted by the recency of the exam. For example, pass rates in 2018 counted more toward overall rankings than scores from 2014.
CTC’s pass-rate information was available for the past four years – 97.3% in 2016 and 100% for 2017, 2018 and 2019 – giving the program its score of 99.54, which was actually higher than last year’s No. 1-ranked score of 99.3.
“I can say without a shadow of a doubt our practical nursing graduates are ready for nursing practice,” Pittman-Howell said. “They have the knowledge, skills and attitudes to effectively work as PNs once they graduate and obtain licensure.”
The website said Chattahoochee Tech’s program “provides a strong foundation in the practice of nursing, preparing students to function safely within the framework of the practical nursing role.”
“Nursing theory is integrated with clinical experiences to afford the greatest opportunity for students to become clinically competent,” it said.
The PN program, which currently has 36 students – 15 juniors and 21 seniors – enrolled, is based at the college’s Marietta campus and can be completed in three semesters.
Graduates receive a practical nursing diploma and are then eligible to sit for the national exam, and once they pass it, they are granted state licensure to practice nursing in Georgia as licensed practical nurses.
LPNs are valuable members of a health care team who are supervised by registered nurses and physicians to provide care and treatment for patients.
In Georgia, LPNs remain in high demand due to the nursing shortage; in fact, the Bureau of Labor Statistics projects almost an 11% increase in the field through the year 2028, according to practicalnursing.org.
LPNs in the state earn roughly $20.04 per hour or $41,690 annually, which is about $5,360 per year less than the national average, the website said.