AMARILLO, TX (KFDA) - Medical programs at Amarillo College and West Texas A&M have received high ranks for this year.
Amarillo College's nursing students are being ranked high in the state for passing licensing exams and two of WT's online programs are recognized for their affordability.
"The Texas Board of Nursing would like to have 80 percent of registered nurses in the state of Texas to have at least a bachelor degree by the year 2020 so, that's why our program is so popular," Dirk Nelson, WTAMU College of Nursing & Health Sciences Dean, said. "And also because of the quality and cost as well."
According to SR Education Group, WT's College of Nursing and Health Sciences has ranked high within the country for their online programs.
Their online nursing degrees are ranked 23 in the country for the most affordable tuition, nearing about $30,000 for a four year degree.
As for their online bachelor's degree program in Public Health and Health Science, they were ranked number one in the United States by Nonprofit Colleges Online.
"With this program, one of our target audiences would be people who are allied health care providers, who have an associate degree and are looking for a bachelor's degree," Nelson said. "We thought we would move it online and it has grown dramatically. We started with about five to 10 students about five years ago and we now have about 140 students majoring in Health Sciences, online and on campus."
After struggling to get Amarillo College students to reach the national average on their licensing exams in 2013 and 2014, they have made changes to their entrance exams and advanced their curriculum to match what was focused in the licensing exam.
According to the Texas Board of Nursing, AC is ranked seventh as one of more successful registered nursing programs in Texas.
"Our NCLEX pass rate for 2016 was 95.15 percent," Lyndi Shadbolt, AC's Associate Degree Nursing Program Director, said. "So, we are very proud of that. There are 69 associate nursing programs in the state of Texas and as far as that number goes, we are ranked 17 in the state but we certainly have to compete with larger nursing schools."
WT is proud to also announce that their nursing program has received 14 recognition awards since 2014.
While AC is proud to have 600 declared nursing majors and that 70 percent of the registered nurses that are working in the Texas Panhandle, have finished their associates degree at AC.