On May 18, Cuesta College’s Registered Nursing (RN) program will celebrate its 50th graduating class. The graduates of the RN program's first class earned their nursing pins in 1969, and, since then, Cuesta College has educated and graduated more than 1,800 nurses. This year’s graduating cohort includes 43 graduates. The Pinning Ceremony will be held on the San Luis Obispo Campus in the gymnasium at 11:00 a.m.

"We are honored to celebrate our 50th year of educating nurses,” said Cuesta College Director of Nursing Marcia Scott. “Most of our graduates stay local and serve our community in a variety of healthcare settings, including hospitals, surgery centers, clinics, long-term care, and forensic facilities. Many of our graduates have taken on leadership roles as administrators, managers, educators, and nurse practitioners."

This year’s graduating cohort includes 43 students ranging in age from 21 to 54, and is made up of 31 females and 12 males. Forty of the graduates are from within the San Luis Obispo County and Santa Maria area.

“Every nursing graduation is special, but this one marks a milestone of 50 years of preparing nearly 2,000 nurses to provide top quality health care to the citizens of San Luis Obispo County and beyond,” said Cuesta College Superintendent/President Dr. Gil Stork.

The Cuesta College Nursing Program consistently receives recognition for quality excellence. The program recently received a Strong Workforce Gold Star award from the California Community College Chancellor's Office health sector, recognizing the increases in income, livable wages, and employment that students experience upon program completion.

“According to the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office, students in our RN program boost their earnings by 136 percent, 84 percent attain the regional living wage, and 100 percent of them secure employment in their field of study,” said Scott.

In addition, the Cuesta College RN program has consistently been ranked as one of the top programs in California. Last year, for the fourth year in a row, the RN program graduates scored a 100 percent pass rate on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX), the state board allowing individuals to practice nursing. According to the National Council of State Boards of Nursing, the average pass rate for the state of California in 2016/17 was 87 percent.

For more information about Cuesta College’s Nursing Program, visit their website or call (805) 546-3138.