This editorial was written by The News on February 16.
Accomplishing a passing rate of 85 or 90 percent would have been impressive enough. But no, College of Coastal Georgia students had to go and one-up what is considered good and do something great.
All the students who took certification tests from the Bachelor of Science in Nursing, Associate of Science in Nursing and radiologic science programs at CCGA passed.
What is even more impressive, is that for the BSN program, this is the fourth year in a row to boast such an achievement.
What led to this accomplishment? Lydia Watkins, the BSN program's coordinator said it best.
"We try to show the students that the knowledge they acquire in the classroom can be used in the community outside of a hospital setting," she told The News this week. "Service learning and community engagement are unique ways to learn and utilize critical thinking rather than just relying on textbooks."
We couldn't agree more. Too often students do nothing but sit at desks, read textbooks and take tests. While that is certainly an important aspect of a well-rounded college education, CCGA's focus on community service and getting outside of the classroom walls is clearly paying dividends.
This was the ASN program's first 100 percent pass rate and the radiologic program's third, further proof the service learning mission is working.
So is the obviously beneficial partnership with Southeast Georgia Health System's Brunswick hospital and with Southern Orthopaedics. Not only is the geographic proximity of the two entities a bonus, so is the opportunity for students in medical fields to get hands-on experience they may not get elsewhere.
But there is a more important reason the incredible passing rate is notable. Experts have been predicting a serious shortage of nurses awaiting us in America.
Studies show by 2030, the population of senior citizens will have increased by 75 percent to 69 million. That number is estimated to jump to 88.5 million people by 2050.
That means the need for medical care will be great, and great medical staff will be necessary to handle the load.
It is a good thing we have the nursing and radiological programs at CCGA to produce the quality medical staffs of the future.