Every member of the first class, which started in the fall of 2009 and graduated last fall, earned a Georgia nursing license, said Jennifer Nelson, the school’s vice president of external affairs. The national pass rate average is 89 percent, she said.
“We know that our students are getting exactly what they need,” she said.
The program is expected to earn its national accreditation in 2013.
This weekend, the school held a pinning ceremony for its second class of soon-to-be graduates. Thirty-four students are on track to earn the Associate of Science in nursing degree in December. The program takes two years.
Despite the good things happening with the program, recent allegations that the school is not accredited and that the program’s director, Quentina Pittman, had her license revoked in Virginia and California have shed a negative light on the college.
An anonymous two-page letter detailing the allegations was sent to the Journal in recent weeks, with documents indicating the revocations.
Rebecca Long, the school’s spokeswoman, said that Pittman’s practical nursing license in California was revoked after she failed to complete required paperwork, but that the issue was resolved.
“This occurred after she had moved to Virginia, where she had already obtained her registered nursing license from that state,” Long said. “The State of Virginia did review the situation with California, but deemed that she was eligible to hold the (Registered Nursing) license.”
Pittman was initially hired by Chattahoochee Tech as an adjunct instructor in September 2010. She became a full-time instructor last December and was promoted to the school’s director of nursing in March after serving several months as interim director. Her salary is about $75,000 a year.
“In order to be employed, you have to have a background check,” Nelson said. “We have no concerns there.”
The Georgia Board of Nursing confirmed that Pittman holds a Registered Professional Nurse license that was issued December 2006 and expires in January 2013.
The program graduated its first class of 18 students last fall, after which it was accredited by the state — a process Nelson said is the norm.
“(The state) looks at your placement rate, pass rate and staff,” Nelson said. “You have to graduate a class and show that they have passed and can become nurses before receiving accreditation.”
Nelson said that upon graduation, students from the two-year program are eligible to apply for nursing positions across the state. Many go on to earn a bachelor of science in nursing from either Kennesaw State or Georgia State universities.
The school’s next class will begin Aug. 20. Of the more than 400 applicants, just 41, or about 10 percent, were selected. Applications for fall 2013 class are due Jan. 4. To be eligible, students must first complete 33 hours of core classes, credentials and pre-requisites, and score well on the Test of Essential Academic Skills.
“It’s very, very competitive,” Nelson said.
The CTC nursing diploma requires 79 credit hours, and the standard in-state tuition is $75 per credit hour plus $161 in fees. Nursing students also must pay for assessment fees and group malpractice insurance.