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What You Need to Know About the New Associate Degree in Nursing Program at Carrington College, Las Vegas

June 23, 2022

We recently announced a new Associate Degree in Nursing program at our Carrington College Las Vegas campus and are excited to share some additional details to help you get started. So in order to help everyone better understand the program and its benefits, we decided to interview our Dean of Nursing at the Carrington College Las Vegas campus, Dr. Sherry Akins, DNP, RN, to learn more about what it includes and how students can find success. Here is what she had to say:


Can you please tell us a little about your professional background?

I hold four degrees in nursing including an Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, a Bachelor of Science (BSN) from Southern Arkansas University, a Master of Science (MSN) from Walden University, and a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) from Walden University. I have been a clinical registered nurse (RN) for over 30 years and a nurse educator for 22 years. My areas of nursing specialization are medical, surgical, nursing, and mental health.

I am a member of the American Nurses Association (ANA), Sigma Theta Tau, and the National League for Nursing (NLN). I serve as a peer evaluator for the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES) and the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN).


Can you please tell us about your position? What are some of your responsibilities?

I serve as Dean of Nursing at the Las Vegas campus for the new Associate Degree in Nursing program (ADN). I have worked at Carrington College for over four years starting as a Clinical Coordinator and aspiring to the position of Dean of Nursing. I am responsible for the day-to day operations of the ADN program and oversight of students, faculty, and resources. My goal is not only to provide students an opportunity to get an education, but also an opportunity to change the trajectory of their lives. Someone did the same exact thing for me, and my life is about paying it forward. Knowledge is power and the application of knowledge transforms individuals, communities, and the world.


What are some of your goals for the new program?

The main goal of the ADN program at Carrington College is to produce safe entry-level practitioners. The program will do so by offering students a robust well-rounded program of nursing study. The program will focus on theory, clinical skills, communication, and soft skills using active learning, mannikins, and roleplaying. Clinical activities will also commence in acute care settings, long-term care settings, and surgery centers. The utilization of labs with low-level, mid-level, and high-fidelity mannikins will be utilized to further enhance student learning experiences, knowledge, and execution in practice.


How will it benefit the local and/or healthcare community?

Nursing students help the community in partnership with local healthcare entities by providing safe, compassionate, high-quality, and cost-effective care. Professional nurses in the clinical setting serve as role models helping nursing students elevate to a practice of becoming caring, capable nurses who help patients improve their lives. This in turn improves communities and the world.


What do students need to know before they apply to the program?

The new Associate Degree in Nursing program is typically two years in length, but can be completed in as few as 23 months not including breaks or 6–16-week semesters.

As part of the new ADN program, students will learn about direct patient care, assessment, diagnostic measurements, procedures, treatments, therapeutic communication, patient safety, cultural sensitivity, and high-quality patient care. This hands-on approach to learning with clinical training enhances the learning experience and helps students develop a work history while completing their studies and improving soft skills. It allows students to further their studies while working in a real-word healthcare environment with members of a multidisciplinary team. The program also allows students to complete their requirements to test for the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) in Nevada to become a registered nurse[1].

The professional practice area for a registered nurse is hospitals, clinics, home health, hospice, nursing homes, correctional nursing, and surgery centers. Providing additional RN’s help aid the Las Vegas community, state, and nation in decreasing the nursing shortage. This impacts overall healthcare, nursing care, patient safety, and outcomes.


What do you like the most about working in education?

I enjoy working as a nurse educator as it allows me to change lives. I am a life-long learner and appreciate having the opportunity to help others achieve their dream, goal, or endeavor.


What are some of your proudest accomplishments?

I am a first-generation college graduate for my family therefore I am extremely proud of being the first individual in my family to earn a graduate degree as well as a doctorate degree. My husband, parents, siblings, cousins, and friends have been my greatest inspiration. Thus, proving it indeed takes a village.


Anything else you would like to add?

My capstone project for my doctorate embraces the platform of providing culturally sensitive care.  Furthermore, with the everchanging environment and worldview, it is necessary for nursing employers to understand and adopt policies and protocols that support diversity, equity, and inclusion within the practice of healthcare. I am a proponent of such practices which help build an inclusive workplace while unlocking better team collaboration, improving innovation, positively impact patient care, and increase financial performance.

[1] Carrington College prepares students to take appropriate certification and licensure exams related to their individual majors. The College does not guarantee students will successfully pass these exams or be certified or licensed as a result of completing the program.

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