The ranking is based on a lot of things like, tuition costs, the NCLEX pass rate, which is the test qualifying graduates to practice as a registered nurse, and the overall completion rate. After looking at all of those things, Helena College came back with a 100% overall score.
The accelerated two-year registered nursing program allows students to graduate in five semesters, which is more appealing for none traditional students like Jena Smith, who is a recent graduate of the nursing program.
“It's much more conducive for people who aren't our out of high school who have families or who have other things going on where they can't do a full four years in a nursing program without working, because a lot of these programs it is very hard to hold a job while being successful in the program,” said Smith.
The college also holds the highest NCLEX-RN pass rate in Montana, which is just over 95%. In addition to the associate's degree in nursing, Helena College also offers a new stand-alone LPN program, allowing students to graduate in three semesters.
"It's not easy to come to a two-year program. It's accelerated, we get through in five semesters what the bachelorette schools do in four years. Our students push and they end with an associate's degree, but they're also then prepared to go on and get their bachelor's degree at bridge program across the state,” said Deb Rapaport, a Registered Nurse with a Master's Degree in Nursing Education
The college graduates 32 Registered Nurses a year with eight LPN nursing students getting ready to graduate this summer, with most of them having jobs before they walk across the stage.