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Oakton's Nursing program ranked No. 5 in the state

Of the approximately 100 Illinois Board of Nursing approved schools that offer an associate degree in nursing, Oakton Community College ranks No. 5 and lands as the top-ranked such program in Cook County.

The ranking, "The 10 Best Schools in Illinois for Registered Nursing Programs – 2020," was compiled by PracticalNursing.org, a nursing advocacy organization created by nurses and other health care industry stakeholders to provide free resources, tools and information for future nurses. According to the methodology listed on its website, schools were rated based on four criteria: academic quality (consisting of acceptance rate, graduation rate, retention rate and student to faculty ratio); recent passing rates on the NCLEX, the national professional licensure exam for nurses; affordability and reputation.

"Our nursing program has earned its solid reputation because of tremendous people, and this accolade is evidence of that," Nursing Chair Margaret Gas says. "We have great faculty, clinical partners and rigorous program standards. At Oakton, we stress quality and dedication as we prepare students to succeed in rewarding health care careers."

Since 1984, over 2,400 students have received an associate of applied science-nursing credential from Oakton. Instructional classes and labs for the program typically meet in the Margaret Burke Lee Science and Health Careers Center, featuring a state-of-the art nursing simulation hospital and nursing classrooms. Students enrich their learning through the clinical experiences offered in a variety of health care settings throughout the community.

Over the last five years, Oakton has averaged a first-time pass rate of approximately 92% on the NCLEX. In 2018, that passing rate was an all-time high of 99%.

Nurses are in high demand, according to the U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics. Jobs for registered nurses are expected to grow faster than average through 2026, with a median salary of more than $68,000 per year (approximately $33/hour).

Oakton's Nursing Program is approved by the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation and is accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN). Nursing is a limited enrollment program, and applications for fall 2020 are being accepted through Friday, Jan. 31. Admission requirements are posted at http://www.oakton.edu/academics/academic_departments/nur/admission_requirements.


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