PCC says Nursing Program not in danger - Tucson News Now

PCC says Nursing Program not in danger as college addresses 'deficiencies'

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TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

Pima Community College graduates more registered nurses than any other school in the area.

However, a "Notice of Deficiencies" from the Arizona State Board of Nursing has people wondering what's going on.

The college is adamant about what that is.

"The Nursing Program is not in danger. The things we need to do to address what were found in the Notice of Deficiencies has, for the most part, been taken care of," says PCC West Campus President Dr. Louis Albert.

PCC's Nursing Program has a good reputation in the Tucson and southern Arizona community.

There's a waiting list to get in.

The percentage of Nursing Program graduates who pass the state licensing exam exceeds the state and the national averages.

President Albert says the State Nursing Board Notice of Deficiencies is not aimed at the Nursing Program itself, but at certain Pima Community College administrative issues.

One complaint is that the program's dean did not have full authority to run the program as is required by state rules.

"We acknowledge that the Nursing Program Administrator has full responsibility for making decisions about the program, including placement of faculty and we will make sure going forward that that is how those decisions are made," Albert says.

Though Albert says faculty had been told about the notice, students had not because it does not affect them.

Reaction among students about whether they should have been told is mixed.

However, nursing students we talked with said rumors are flying among them.

"It leads us to wild assumptions or to really start freaking out. I mean, if they'd address it: 'This doesn't affect you. We don't feel that this will be an issue,' then we'd be like--oh. Okay. We know. No big deal," says PCC Nursing Program Student Momoko Carey.

Another student said he would have liked to have known, but he thought he understood why students, already under stress in school, were not told.

"Throwing that at us--if it is already being handled and addressed, as apparently it is--would just add more to the stress," says PCC Nursing Program Student James White.

"The wisdom of hindsight--perhaps we could have said something. But to this day, it's not going to affect students," Albert says.

The Notice of Deficiencies lists several incidents where a group representing faculty, the Pima Community College Education Association, interfered with the authority of the Nursing Program's dean.

Albert says everyone had "the best of intentions here, including the faculty association."

As part of the corrective action, Albert says PCC's chancellor will be speaking with the faculty group and with all nursing program faculty to be sure "everybody is on the same page."

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