GCU accelerated nursing program creating new opportunities for future nurses

The GCU accelerated nursing program has only been around since Fall 2020, but it's already expanded to four campuses in three different states.
Published: Sep. 14, 2022 at 9:34 PM MST
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PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) - It’s no secret that hospitals are struggling when it comes to keeping and hiring nurses. Data from the US Department of Health and Human Services from earlier this year shows Arizona ranked in the bottom ten states regarding state staffing. But when it comes to nursing, a new Grand Canyon University program hopes to change that.

The program has only been around since Fall 2020, but it’s already expanded to four campuses (besides their main Phoenix campus) in three different states. And every single graduate of that first nursing class aced the exam needed to get a license.

“ABSN students come in very motivated, very highly motivated,” GCU nursing leader Amy Leach said. “And they really did the work that they needed to do to pass the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX) on their first attempt.”

Usually, around 80% of nursing students pass the NCLEX. That’s a high number; GCU made it look small when 100% of their students passed. “We were very, very joyous over that,” Leach said.

But GCU graduate Jason Chang, now a nurse at Banner University in Phoenix, wasn’t surprised about the program’s perfect performance. “Once we graduated, I couldn’t imagine anyone not passing their NCLEX from my cohort,” he said. “Everyone was a very hardworking, smart capable individual.”

Chang says many in his cohort had other jobs before pivoting to nursing school. However, the flexibility and different types of instruction that come with the program being both online-based and incorporating hands-on clinical skills was a major selling point for current student Bobbi Stevenson.

“I feel like I’m in great hands,” Stevenson said. “There are so many people here that are supporting us and invested in our success, that I need to invest in my own success at the same level.”

Stevenson is looking forward to graduating next summer and being able to immediately make a difference in her day-to-day responsibilities and addressing the ongoing nursing shortage. “I’m hoping that there’s more people out there that want to be nurses,” she said. “So we can get our ratios back down.”

For more information on the GCU ABSN program, visit their website.