Nursing Department Advisory Committee Of The Year DSC1194

Press Release                                                                           

Date: August 17, 2023

Contact: Lisa Garrett,

Nursing Advisory Committee Recognized for Achievements

PENDLETON, SC – Tri-County Technical College’s (TCTC) Nursing advisory committee was recognized today (August 17) for its achievements this year.

Nursing Department Head Jackie Rutledge and TCTC faculty and administration accepted the Advisory Committee of the Year award at the College’s fall convocation. The advisory committee consists of Upstate health care leaders who meet at the end of each semester for discussion and to provide input about keeping the curriculum relevant to today's ever-changing work environment.

Members include local hospital affiliates, local universities that recruit TCTC’s nursing students for their bachelor of science program, College administration, and TCTC Student Nurses Association representatives.

The advisory committee members serve as educational advocates and have been instrumental in keeping the department abreast of new and emerging changes in health care and preparing graduates with 21st-century skills, such as sound critical thinking, clinical judgment and leadership, and collaborative learning.

“The Associate Degree Nursing and Practical Nursing programs are now able to report specific evaluation of our nursing students in the areas of 21st-century skills utilizing the simulation evaluations and grading rubrics that were devised,” said Rutledge. “By revising the simulation labs to reflect input from our advisory committee, the evaluation rubrics align with 21st-century skills as identified by Tri-County Technical College,” she said.

“Throughout the year the advisory committee members provided insight into trends affecting nursing practice, nursing job development, and job placement,” said Rutledge. Members also assist in the evaluation of program effectiveness, program advocacy and promotion, and support of the nursing program. “The advisory committee offers recommendations in the development of short- and long-range plans regarding existing and future curriculum content,” she said.

The committee unanimously agreed that the curriculum should place a larger focus on areas of soft skills, therapeutic communication, and professionalism, said Rutledge. “The nursing department revised the simulation labs across both RN and LPN nursing programs’ curricula to more effectively teach and evaluate 21st-century skills.”

Dr. John Whitcomb, director and chief academic nursing officer for Clemson University’s School of Nursing, kept the department up to date about the Next Generation NCLEX, the new test format for the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX) for nursing students.

This is the first quarter for the Next Generation examination. The new Next Generation NCLEX now includes next generation features, using real-world case studies to measure a nurse's ability to think more critically and make the right decisions.

TCTC’s Associate Degree Nursing graduates report a 97.83% pass rate on the Next Generation NCLEX-RN exam for the second quarter (April 1 – June 30, 2023). These first-time candidates exceeded state (97.4%) and national (94.31%) pass rates.

Advisory committee members are active in assisting the nursing department in the evaluation of nursing students’ performance when they attend clinicals at their sites, which promotes formative assessment, and decision-making, said Rutledge. “The committee routinely shares evidence-based best practices and new procedures or policies which enhances our students’ education. The advisory committee also gives the nursing department valuable feedback regarding our graduate nurses’ performance and our end-of-program outcomes. The critical assessment of what the hospital expects of new nurses and evaluation of new graduates gives the nursing department the necessary data to make improvements and changes,” she said.

Committee members were influential in creating pathways and partnerships for students to gain experience.

There have been several ADN students who participated in the Summer Nurse Extern program at Bon Secours Health System. In the past the program was open to only bachelor of science degree majors. The Summer Nurse Extern program offers select nursing students the opportunity to gain clinical competence and ease the transition from student to professional. Students are assigned to preceptors who are experienced registered nurses chosen for excellence in practice.

Last year AnMed and TCTC announced a new program that provides students the opportunity to work at the hospital while obtaining their associate degree in nursing. In addition to employment, AnMed will pay the balance of the student’s tuition and related course materials once all other financial aid has been applied. The cohort members will engage with mentors who support them while they finish college. Upon completion of the ADN program, students commit to work at AnMed for 24 consecutive months.  

Clinical partners also play a role in students’ success by providing a setting for students to apply their knowledge.  

Through clinical partnerships with Prisma Health, TCTC’s Practical Nursing students have been offered employment opportunities as LPNs upon graduation. “This collaboration has helped ease the nursing shortage and solidified the return of Team Nursing in the acute care setting at Prisma Health,” said Rutledge.

TCTC’s nursing departments are fully accredited by the State Board of Nursing in South Carolina and the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing.

About Tri-County Technical College

Tri-County Technical College, a public two-year community and technical college serving Anderson, Oconee and Pickens Counties in South Carolina, enrolls more than 9,000 students annually and offers more than 70 major fields of study, including computer technology, business administration, mechatronics, nursing, and university transfer programs. Tri-County boasts the highest student success rate among two-year colleges in the state and ranks in the top one percent nationally for successful student transfers to four-year colleges and universities. To learn more, visit