On its main campus in Elgin, Illinois (halfway between Chicago and Rockford), Elgin Community College (ECC) offers associate degrees, certificates, and pre-baccalaureate programs in professional fields as well as in the liberal arts. Nearly 20,000 students are enrolled in Elgin Community College’s programs; more than half of the students are part-time.
Elgin Community College emphasizes its programs in the heath science field, with a new state-of-the-art health sciences building to enhance its programs. Among its programs in the field are two nursing programs, at the certificate and the associate-degree level, as well as a nurse assistant training program. The nursing programs are approved by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission. Here is a review of the programs:
Basic Nurse Assistant Training Program
A Certified Nurse Assistant (CNA) works directly with patients, caring for basic needs like eating and bathing. Certification is necessary for this profession, and a student can prepare for the certification exam through a program like Elgin Community College’s Basic Nurse Assistant Training Program. The program consists of both clinical and classroom instruction and takes one semester to complete. A graduate earns a basic vocational certificate and is eligible to take the Illinois Department of Public Health’s exam for CNAs.
Practical Nursing Certificate
Prospective Licensed Practical Nurses (LPN) follow the same admissions procedures as students in the Associate of Applied Science in Nursing degree program. They must complete prerequisites in chemistry (high school chemistry is acceptable) and biology. A math course is also necessary, unless the applicant has a satisfactory score on the Elgin Community College placement exam. Once accepted to the program, a student spends two semesters studying nursing, as well as taking a few general education courses. Students can opt to begin the course of study in either the fall or the spring semester; eighty students are accepted to the program in the fall and forty students are accepted for the spring program. (These numbers include students who are in the practical nursing program and students who are in the first year of the associate degree program.) While students are welcome to work while studying, classes do take place during the day. Some clinical rotations may be offered in the evenings or on the weekends. At the end of the second semester, the student may take the National Council Licensing Exam for Practical Nurses (NCLEX_PN) and enter the work force immediately. Alternatively, the student may continue on to the second level of nursing at Elgin Community College, and work toward an Associate of Applied Science degree.
Associate of Applied Science in Nursing
The first year of the Associate of Applied Science in Nursing (AAS in Nursing) program is identical to the first year of the Practical Nursing program. It begins in both the fall and the spring. After completing the prerequisites, first-year nursing courses, and first-year general education courses along with students in the Practical Nursing Certificate program, students in AAS in Nursing program go on to upper-level nursing and general education courses. They spend an additional year studying, and at the end, they are eligible to take the National Council Licensing Exam for Registered Nurses (NCELX_RN). If they are successful, they can begin working as Registered Nurses (RN).
NCLEX_RN Remedial Certificate
A graduate of the AAS in Nursing program who is unsuccessful on his first try at the NCLEX_RN may enroll in the NCLEX_RN Remedial Certificate program. In this program, he will retake several nursing classes that he took as part of the AAS in Nursing program. In total, he will take four classes worth sixteen credits. The program focuses on preparing him to retake the NCLEX_RN.
Options for Further Education
Elgin Community College does not offer any full baccalaureate degree, but graduates of the AAS in Nursing program may transition into a baccalaureate program at another school. AAS in Nursing students can transition into Franklin University’s online program to earn a Bachelor of Science in Healthcare Management, into National Louis University’s on-site Bachelor of Science in Health Care Leadership, or into Northern Illinois University’s on-site Bachelor of General Studies in Health and Human Sciences. AAS in Nursing students who wish to earn a full Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree can transfer from Elgin Community College into Grand Canyon University’s online AAS to BSN program, into Northern Illinois University’s on-site RN to BSN program, or into the University of Wisconsin – Green Bay’s online or on-site RN to BSN program.
Elgin Community College
1700 Spartan Drive
Elgin, IL 60123