HCC Nursing Program Ranked Best in Pioneer Valley

HOLYOKE — Holyoke Community College’s (HCC) associate degree program in nursing was ranked the highest in the Pioneer Valley by Nursing Schools Almanac, an organization that provides an annual overview of nursing programs across the country.

In its 2021 rankings, Nursing Schools Almanac listed HCC ahead of all other ADN (associate of science in nursing degree) programs in Hampden, Hampshire, and Franklin counties. HCC’s ADN program was ranked seventh overall in Massachusetts.

For the 2021 rankings of ADN programs, the research team at Nursing Schools Almanac compiled an extensive database of student performance on the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN). Aspiring registered nurses in the U.S. must pass the exam before they may begin to practice.

“Student performance on the NCLEX-RN exam provides an excellent benchmark for comparing the relative quality of associate-degree programs,” the almanac explains in a prologue to its rankings.

For HCC, the almanac reported an 87.7% NCLEX-RN pass rate among first-time test takers with data analyzed from 2011 to 2020.

HCC’s nursing programs routinely earn top marks from national evaluation organizations. In 2020, Nursing Process, a national online guide to healthcare education, ranked HCC’s ADN the best in all four counties of Western Mass. Earlier this year, HCC’s LPN (licensed practical nursing) program ranked third among LPN programs in Massachusetts for 2021 — and best in Western Mass. — by practicalnursing.org.

HCC’s nursing and radiologic technology programs are based at the college’s Center for Health Education & Simulation on Jarvis Avenue, near the main HCC campus on Homestead Avenue.