According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of registered nurses is projected to grow about 16 percent through 2024. Increased emphasis on preventative care, growing rates of chronic conditions such as diabetes and obesity, and demand for healthcare services from aging baby-boomers as they live longer, more active lives will contribute to the need for more registered nurses.

Cleveland Community College offers the Associate Degree Nursing program, which is a member of the Foothills Nursing Consortium with Isothermal Community College and McDowell Technical Community College, and the Practical Nursing Diploma program.

On’s Best Nursing Schools® Best in the Eastern Region, CCC ranked third among North Carolina community colleges, 13 among all NC nursing schools and 112 in the Eastern Region of the United States.

“We set out to find the all-around best nursing schools in each region of the United States. We took 19 metrics and put them into five categories that we felt were both quantifiable and important: quality, affordability, convenience, satisfaction, and value,” according to determined the rankings by evaluating 1,189 nursing schools. They included two-year and four-year programs at both public and private schools. Within each of the five categories, points were awarded for meeting a set of metrics. For example, under quality schools received points based on the highest type of degree offered. CCC, which offers an associate degree received two points, while schools that offer bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate degrees received up to five points.

“As a two-year college that gets no points for bachelor, masters, or doctoral programs, we are excited to rank so high,” said Dr. L. Steve Thornburg, CCC’s president. “We are committed to offering high quality, affordable, and accessible healthcare programs.”

_MG_4283Other criteria examined included tuition and fees, amount of financial aid awarded to students, distance education options, first-to-second year retention rates, graduation rates, and passing rates on the National Council Licensure Examination.

“Our high licensure passing rates and student completion rates give testament to the hard work of our nursing faculty members, who are dedicated to helping our students be successful,” said Dr. Thornburg.

CCC’s rankings place it in the top five percent of North Carolina community college schools of nursing, the top 15 percent overall among North Carolina schools of nursing, and the top 10 percent in the East.


Average yearly earnings:  $60,265

Job functions of registered nurses include: record patients’ medical histories and symptoms, administer medicines and treatments, assist in setting up plans for patients’ care, observe patients and record observations, work as part of an interdisciplinary team, operate and monitor medical equipment, teach patients and their families how to manage illnesses or injuries.

Registered nurses work in hospitals, physicians’ offices, home healthcare services, nursing care facilities, schools, and other sites.