The Associate Degree Nursing (ADN) program at Danville Area Community College (DACC) is under the auspices of the Math, Sciences, & Health Professions Division at DACC. The program is a ladder approach in which a student has the opportunity after the second semester to take the National Council Licensure Examination-Practical Nursing (NCLEX-PN), which is required to obtain state licensure as a licensed practical nurse (LPN). After completion of the fourth semester, students are eligible to take the National Council Licensure Examination-Registered Nursing (NCLEX-RN), which is required for state licensure as a professional registered nurse. In addition, LPNs may enter after the 2nd semester and be eligible to take the NCLEX-RN after two semesters of nursing courses.
The Associate Degree Nursing program is approved by the Illinois Board of Nursing and accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN). The ADN nursing curriculum reflects current concepts, professional standards, and competencies/student learning outcomes that are consistent with the National League for Nursing (NLN) Outcomes and Competencies for Graduates of Associate Degree Programs in Nursing (2010) and the Quality and Safety Education for Nurses (QSEN) initiative. The curriculum also incorporates guidelines and standards established by the American Nurses Association, the Illinois State Board of Nursing, and the NCLEX test plan.
Danville Area Community College associate degree in nursing program is dedicated to providing nursing education using a variety of affordable and accessible delivery methods to a diverse population. The program’s goal is to prepare graduates to practice safe, entry level professional nursing and to have a desire for lifelong learning. To achieve this mission, we strive to create a culture of excellence and support, where students are challenged to meet high educational standards.
The nursing faculty believes nursing education should be proactive and responsive to the community’s needs; emphasizing quality, affordability, and effective partnerships in order to enhance quality of life through learning. Our philosophy of nursing education consists of five elements: persons, health, environment, nursing, and education which are also embedded into the Student Learning Outcomes.
Persons: Individuals have a right to knowledge about themselves as well as a right to participate in decisions that influence their life, needs, health, and community services in the environment. Individuals also possess the capability of communicating to meet their needs. The growth and development of individuals are a function of communication with other individuals, genetic endowment, meaningful and satisfying experiences, and an environment conducive to helping individuals mature.
Health or wellness is an outcome variable that depends on dynamic life experiences and resultant needs of an individual. This implies a continuous adjustment to components in the environment through optimum use of the individual’s resources to achieve maximum potential for meeting needs in daily living. Illness is a change from normal, resulting in unmet needs due to an imbalance in the dynamic state of one or more of the components relating to an individual’s health.
Environment may be defined as either the individual’s personal or community environment. The healthy individual continuously adjusts to significant events in these environments. Thus, the environment may be perceived as a stressor for the individual as well as potential precipitators of illness when maladaptation occurs.
Nursing involves therapeutic actions and communication whereby the nurse and individual share information about their perceptions of the environment. Through purposeful communication, the nurse and individual identify needs and assess means to meet these needs. Registered nurses, then, are important in a collaborative role with other health care professionals in assessing and meeting needs, promoting health, preventing disease, facilitating health teaching and client advocacy, and in coordinating and managing health care for the individual and family. As a result, the nursing process is an essential and functional component of professional nursing. Through observation, assessment, and scientific rationale, the nurse utilizes the nursing process as a dynamic factor to facilitate and evaluate an individualized plan of care for identified needs.
Nursing Education is based on sciences, liberal arts, and involves the development of personal, interpersonal, and professional interactions. In this manner, theoretical and clinical components are integrated with the nursing process to provide an optimal educational environment.
The ADN graduate is prepared and expected to practice within the framework of the Educational Competencies for Graduates of Associate Degree Nursing Programs as identified by the 2010 NLN Educational Competencies. ADN graduates practice within the framework of eight core competencies/student learning outcomes which are: caring interventions, clinical decision making collaboration, communication, managing care, professional behaviors, safety, and teaching and learning. It is from this framework that the graduate outcomes, course outcomes, and both clinical and theory weekly learning outcomes have been derived. In addition, these concepts are explored and operationalized in curriculum development and evaluation.
The DACC Nursing Program follows a progressive testing blueprint using Bloom’s taxonomy as its guide. The Level I courses gradually shift from the lower levels of learning to the mid-levels of learning. The Level II courses gradually shift from the mid-levels of learning to the higher levels of learning.
The associate degree nurse is an entry level practitioner and is competent to practice as a direct caregiver in a variety of health care settings which include diverse patient population. ADN graduates are employed in a health care delivery system that continues to grow and change. As noted in our mission statement, the nursing program has an overall goal of preparing graduates who practice safe, entry level professional nursing with a desire for lifelong learning.
Nursing is a life-long learning profession; therefore ADN graduates are strongly encouraged to pursue bachelors, masters, and doctoral degrees in preparation for advanced levels of practice. Schools with articulations agreements with DACC are invited to meet with students several times throughout the school year in order to help them choose their RN-to-BSN completion program.
Upon completion of the Associate Degree Nursing Program, the graduate will be proficient in the following:
1. Caring Interventions
By the end of the DACC Nursing Program, the graduate nurse will adopt behaviors that support a caring patient-centered environment where choices related to cultural values, beliefs, and lifestyles are respected.
2. Clinical Decision Making
By the end of the DACC Nursing Program, the graduate nurse will integrate clinical decision making in planning care that incorporates the holistic needs of the patient population by providing culturally and developmentally competent assessment and care while respecting differences, values, preferences, and expressed needs.
By the end of the DACC Nursing Program, the graduate nurse will organize collaboration with clients, significant support person(s), and members of the interdisciplinary healthcare team in the responsibilities of shared planning, decision making, problem solving, and goal setting while delivering high quality, evidence-based, patient-centered care to diverse populations within a family and community context.
By the end of the DACC Nursing Program, the graduate nurse will model therapeutic communication skills verbally and non-verbally when interacting with patients, significant support person(s), and members of the interdisciplinary team in complex environments and practice effective written and electronic documentation.
5. Managing Care
By the end of the DACC Nursing Program, the graduate nurse will determine effective utilization of information and technology, and other resources regarding management of comprehensive care to diverse patient populations within a family and community context.
6. Professional Behaviors
By the end of the DACC Nursing Program, the graduate nurse will integrate professional nursing practice behaviors that demonstrate lifelong personal responsibility and accountability for own care and care delegated while practicing within a legal, ethical, and professional scope that is guided by accepted standards of nursing practice.
By the end of the DACC Nursing Program, the graduate nurse will incorporate the nursing process to make clinical judgments using evidence-based practice providing safe, quality care to promote the health of diverse populations within a family and community context.
8. Teaching and Learning
By the end of the DACC Nursing Program, the graduate nurse will design and implement health education to clients and/or significant support person(s) while promoting and facilitating informed decision-making to achieve safe and high quality health outcomes within a family and community context.