Nursing program at GCC ranked third in state

  • The Greenfield Community College main campus building. Recorder Staff/Matt Burkhartt

Recorder Staff
Sunday, March 11, 2018

GREENFIELD — A national organization in California that ranks licensed practical nursing programs in states named Greenfield Community College’s LPN program third in Massachusetts.

Out of 18 community colleges and technical schools analyzed, PracticalNursing.org ranked five programs, with Northern Essex Community College in Haverhill and Blue Hills Regional Technical School in Canton finishing above GCC.

The ranking system by Practical Nursing evaluates schools based off of pass rates of the LPN exam, weighing more recent years heavier. This past year, Greenfield Community College’s 32 person program had a 100-percent pass rate.

“I think the success is because it’s been a long standing program,” said Deborah Palmeri, practical nursing program coordinator at the college. “Things are built into the program.”

Palmeri pointed to the program’s small but tight-knit group, with a student to faculty ratio typically around 8-to-1 instead of the state recommended 10-to-1. With a program so small, they typically can help students out that are struggling, assisting them with free tutoring.

“Theoretically, you can say it’s a small program — 32 students — but” Greenfield Community College has always supported the program, Palmeri said. “Certainly, the leadership at GCC, from (President Bob Pura) and his team helps the success.”

The program coordinator also noted its close collaboration with both its registered nurse program and with local hospitals like Baystate Franklin Medical Center. This helps student connect to their careers more easily, Palmeri said.

Rounding out the top five was Massachusetts Bay Community College in Wellesley Hills and Bay Path Vocational Technical High School in Charlton.

Other schools analyzed, but not formally ranked, included Quinsigamond Community College in Worcester, Mount Wachusett Community College in Gardner, Holyoke Community College, Berkshire Community College in Pittsfield and Charles McCann Technical School in North Adams.

You can reach
Joshua Solomon at:


413-772-0261, ext. 264