They don’t study to pass a test. They study to prepare for the day when they’re all that stands between a patient and the grave.

ADN students tend to a computerized manikin during a simulated medical situation at Mid-Plains Community College.

That mindset is what helps Associate Degree of Nursing students at Mid-Plains Community College focus, train hard and, eventually, step into the workforce as registered nurses – prepared for anything life throws at them.

MPCC offers a rigorous ADN program that stresses critical thinking and problem solving. The curriculum is concept-based with more hands-on activities and less lecture time.

Tests are limited, often to just three or four per semester, and the program comes with an exit option for those who are only interested in Licensed Practical Nursing (LPN).

The way it works is that ADN and LPN students take identical classes during their first two semesters. The exit option is offered as a six-week summer class.

Both groups spend much of their time in a high-fidelity patient simulation lab where they can practice responding to mock medical scenarios in a controlled environment. They learn on computerized manikins.

“We have a child, a mom and baby and another adult simulator,” said Kathy Harrison, director of nursing at MPCC. “The simulators allow us to provide students with a variety of situations that they may not otherwise experience in a clinical setting.”

The actual clinicals are done in area hospitals, long term care facilities and various other community agencies and doctor offices.

Successful completion of the ADN program allows students to take the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN®).

Admission to the Mid-Plains ADN program is through a selective process, and approval is granted by a faculty organization.

The application deadline for fall ADN classes is March 1. Applicants who have met all admission requirements and who have been selected by the faculty organization will be notified by April 1.

Applicants who are not placed in the August class or who fail to attend the mandatory orientation will be placed on a candidacy status for the next year.