The student news site of Houston Community College

The Egalitarian

The student news site of Houston Community College

The Egalitarian

The student news site of Houston Community College

The Egalitarian

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HCC ADN Nursing Program making a ‘strong comeback’?

HCC made a tough decision to voluntarily close its ADN, Associate Degree Nursing program, effective December 31st, 2023, due to seeing a decline in passing rates on the licensure exam for the past few years. This decision comes amid the high demand for nurses in the field while they are experiencing a shortage. According to the Houston Chronicle, 94% of students passed the RN exam in the year 2018, but by 2022, only 49% passed. The program’s closure comes after 45 years of operations.

Nursing programs need approval from the Texas Board of Nursing to operate in the state, and first-year test-takers of the National Council Licensure Examination-RN must have 80% pass rates for their programs to remain in good standing. Due to a trending decline, that is when HCC made the decision.

Not only were the passing rates a factor of this decision, but also there were changes in the process of enrollment and grading that added to the issue, leading to a sort of negligence on how things were operating.

What has happened since its closing? HCC announced several changes, including moving Norma Perez, the school’s Interim Senior Vice Chancellor for Instructional Services, to be placed to serve as interim administrator in charge of Coleman College.

Former college President Phillip Nicotera will now serve as special assistant to the chancellor “to focus on long-term goals,” according to a news release.

At the moment, no new students can enroll as they are in the process of rebuilding the degree program, though the 76 students who are currently still in the program can continue as usual to finish out their studies.

“Our goal is to come back stronger,” HCC Chancellor Margaret Ford Fisher said in a news release. “These changes will strengthen HCC’s ability to grow our healthcare programs and connect with healthcare organizations both locally and across the region. They demonstrate our commitment to excellence and reassures the community that we are actively engaged in promoting the success of the institution and those whom we serve.”

I think the global pandemic might’ve had an effect on the decline in academic performance as the whole world was shut down and it affected so many people on so many levels, including students with the shift from in person to online instruction. As well as nurses all over the nation dealing with the heaviest weight of treating people who were infected, sick, and dying due to the virus.

Though it came as a shock seeing HCC shutting down an important program, it is nice to see that they care to reevaluate what changes are needed in order to continue to provide students the opportunity to achieve their academic and career goals and provide high quality education. Hopefully with these changes, the program can come back better and stronger than ever.



Articles | HCC ADN Nursing program will ‘come back stronger,’ chancellor says | Houston Community College – HCC (

Houston Community College ends nursing associate’s degree (

Houston Community College to revisit newly closed RN program, may reopen in 2025 (

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