Dutchess Community College Nursing Program Review

Dutchess Community College (DCC) is one of the 30 community colleges in the State University of New York system (SUNY). It is located near Poughkeepsie, New York, and the college has programs that lead to certificates or to associate degrees. There are around 10,000 students enrolled in Dutchess Community College. The popularity of this school is probably because over 60 academic programs are offered and because the school’s tuition is the lowest in the state. In addition, many students who were displaced because of the poor economy are enrolled for retraining to enter a new career.

Nursing Programs

Associate of Applied Science in Nursing

The Associate Degree of Applied Science (AAS) nursing program at Dutchess Community College is very selective in admitting students into the program. Because there are so many applicants, only residents of Dutchess and Putnam Counties are considered for admission to the day or evening programs. Some students move into one of these counties and live there for a minimum of six months to gain admittance to the college’s nursing program. Nursing graduates are qualified to sit for the NCLEX exam that is required before licensure is granted. The nursing program consists of four semesters that are completed in two years. Many students require five or six semesters to complete the program. This is because of limited space in courses or if developmental classes are required. Students must earn 70 or 71 credits to graduate.

Dutchess Community College has both a day and evening nursing program. Applicants for either the day or evening program must take the placement tests required by the college. The tests cover reading, writing, numerical skills, and biological science. If remedial courses are not required, accepted students may enroll in the two year program. Students who require remedial courses must enroll in the extended degree program. Before being accepted into the nursing program, students must complete 28 credits and maintain a 2.75 grade point average in these 28 credits. They must also decide if they want to attend the full-time day nursing program or the part-time nursing evening program.

Other prerequisites for admission to the nursing program are that students must have current CPR certification before beginning the first nursing course. It is also required that students have visual acuity, the ability to hear and to feel changes in skin temperature and texture, and they must also have the fine motor skills needed for this position. In addition, applicants must have the ability to lift 40 pounds and to stand or walk for five to eight hours. Communication skills are also important and applicants must have the ability to read, write, and speak at least by the time they have finished prerequisite courses. Emotional stability is also required because of the daily stress that is often a part of the nursing profession. Applicants may not have any pending cases against them or have been convicted of a felony or misdemeanor or they may not be granted nursing licensure.

Once students are selected for the nursing program, they complete nursing courses each semester. In the two year program, Nursing 105 and 107 are completed in the fall semester along with other required courses. One nursing course is taken in the spring semester which is Nursing 112. The fall semester of the second year, two more courses required for the nursing program are taken. The final semester in spring of the second year requires three courses in nursing. Students complete their clinical experience at local clinics, hospitals, and other healthcare facilities during the time that they take their nursing courses. The bulk of this is during the second year of the program.

Students in the extended program are required to complete 28 credits before beginning nursing classes, and all required coursework except for the nursing courses must be completed. A grade point average of at least 2.75 is required in these courses. Those who are accepted into the nursing program take two nursing courses in the spring semester, one in the fall and in the next spring semester, one in the summer, and three in the final fall semester. Clinical nursing experience is completed during the semesters that nursing courses are taken. Students practice at Dutchess Community College and then gain clinical experience at the local hospital, clinics, nursing homes, and other healthcare facilities. After completing all of the nursing courses in the two-year program or extended program, graduates qualify to take the NCLEX exam. When they pass this test, graduates are granted their RN licensure and can begin working in the nursing profession.

LPN to RN Option

This program is designed for Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs) who must submit a copy of their license with their application. They must have strong clinical skills and nursing experience. The LPN to RN option is not an accelerated program, so it cannot be completed in one year. General education courses must also be completed to graduate, and there are 36 credits required in this category. The advantage of this program is that LPNs may receive credit for part of their work experience and receive advanced placement.

Dutchess Community College
53 Pendell Road
Fairview, New York 12601
(845) 431-8000