From: President of Minnesota State College Southeast Dr. Dorothy Duran
Word is out that Minnesota State College Southeast will voluntarily suspend the Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) program at the end of the 2018-2019 academic year. This move has understandably raised questions, and I would like to address some of those questions in this editorial.
First, please know that our doors are still open to health care programs. Our Practical Nursing (PN) program is not affected by this decision, and in fact, several students who were planning to enroll in ADN are switching to the PN program as an attractive alternative. Nursing students are attending classes and will continue to graduate from the college. Nursing is and will always be an important part of MSC Southeast’s academic programming.
We decided to step back from offering the ADN program because our NCLEX(r) pass rates were not consistently above 75 percent as required by the Minnesota State Board of Nursing, and this December ends our three-year cycle. It is important that the college maintains high quality programs, and suspending the ADN program provides an opportunity for the college to take steps to ensure that a quality program is offered.
We made the decision to stop enrolling new students into the ADN program effective January 2018 because we were concerned that these students might invest in two or three semesters of study in a program that would be suspended before they could graduate. However, our currently enrolled ADN students will be able to complete the program and graduate.
Minnesota State College Southeast has a long and proud tradition in nursing. The first nursing program offered at the college was Practical Nursing, which was a one-year diploma started in Winona in 1953. The two-year ADN option was a relatively new program, launched 14 years ago. Over the years, countless nurses have begun their professional careers with a diploma or degree from Minnesota State College Southeast.
MSC Southeast has several strong options in the health care fields. In addition to Practical Nursing, medical laboratory technician and radiography are accredited by their respective national organizations. We also have successful career options in massage therapy, biomedical equipment technology, and certified nursing assistant. Graduates from all of these programs are serving communities throughout Southeast Minnesota. Plus, Winona State University will soon be offering the RN to BSN completion program on the Red Wing campus.
In the very near future, we are looking forward to opening new programs such as medical assistant and a broad field health science program. We are exploring other options in health care careers that would be a good fit for our students and region. The college is already in early conversations with other local educational institutions to explore ways to ensure that associate degree nursing options remain available in our region.
As the president of Minnesota State College Southeast, I want to assure you that student success is our top priority. We are dedicated to providing a quality educational experience for our students and our communities.