157 graduate from Cassville Crowder nursing program
National accreditation, local campus help get 100 percent pass rate
Crowder College in Cassville started a nursing program in 2010, and since then, the program has produced 157 graduates to date, with a 100 percent pass rate in 2018.
Angela Seymour, director of Crowder Cassville campus, said it started offering full degrees through the nursing program 10 years ago.
“We had to prove that the students could get all of their prerequisites first,” she said. “To be approved to be a nursing school you have to prove that you have everything first.”
Seymour said the campus received donations of hospital beds and equipment from Mercy.
“Basically, you have to build the school first,” she said. “We worked through all of that process while we were building our current facility.”
Seymour said the campus was moved to it current location in the summer of 2009, and classes started that fall.
“Our first set of nursing classes started in January 2010,” she said. “When we built this facility, we had nursing in mind, and we wanted to make sure we had a skills lab and things like that.”
Seymour said the Cassville campus did have equipment donated for the nursing program, and Cassville and Aurora Mercy Hospitals also donated $10,000 each for three years.
“That is $20,000 per year and $60,000 total to get things underway,” she said. “Also, we wrote a Department of Labor grant that allowed for the salaries of the nursing staff.”
According to Seymour, the campus has to have a full time department coordinator, secretary and full time faculty.
“The Department of Labor grant got the funding for the staff, and Mercy Hospital helps get all the supplies needed,” she said. “I had to prove that I could pay for the nursing program prior to receiving tuition.”
Seymour said since the first class in January 2010, there have been eight graduating classes.
“Graduating class of 2018 was the first 100 percent pass rate in the nursing program for Cassville,” she said. “It looks like we will follow that trend this year, as well.”
Seymour said in addition, there is 100 percent job rate as well.
“Of that 14 students class, 13 of them had jobs, and the last one was interviewing,” she said.
According to Seymour, another important part of the 100 percent pass rate is the program is graded based on what percentage of the students pass on their first try.
“A student can go back and retest,” she said. “Even if they pass the second time, we don’t get to count their numbers in that score.”
Seymour said that it is impressive that the students are able to do that, and Cassville is proud of that.
“The state board looks for at least an 80 percent pass rate for the entire year,” she said. “We have always been above 80 percent.”
Seymour said Cassville has a national accredited nursing program.
“We have two accrediting bodies,” she said. “We have the State Board of Nursing, and we also have Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN).”
Kim Smith, nursing program coordinator for Cassville campus, said national accreditation is voluntarily done.
“It is highly encouraged, but it is not required,” she said. “We chose to go with ACEN.”
Smith said anyone can apply for national accreditation.
“What they do is come in and review your program very throughly,” she said. “When ACEN came here, they were here for three days.”
Smith said it is a difficult thing to obtain.
“What ACEN does is allow students to easily transfer to other universities,” she said. “It goes above what the state requirements are, and shows that our program has current curriculum and is always being evaluated.”
Seymour said the closest nursing program to Cassville is in Neosho.
“So, to be able to offer a closer campus to people and make it easier for them to get that degree right here in Cassville is huge,” she said. “One of our prior nursing instructors did some significant research in all of the factors that make a student successful. If you have a student in nursing, which is already a high stress degree, and add to that someone who is working and may have to commute to class, those factors take away from the total success number.”
Seymour said nursing is one of the highest paid associates degrees, and it is a service industry job that is always in need.
“Over the last three years, 100 percent of our graduates who want jobs in nursing get jobs in nursing,” she said.
Kim Smith said she is very proud of the program and what it is evolving into.
“We have worked hard to develop a curriculum that works,” she said. “We look to evidence based practice and research to develop our program.”