Changes to the DACC Nursing Program

The DACC Associate Degree in Nursing program approval status was changed to conditional by the New Mexico Board of Nursing with the next anticipated review in February, 2019. Conditional approval restricts the associate degree nursing program’s ability to admit new students into the program but does not affect students who are currently enrolled in the program. The licensed practical nurse certificate program remains on full approval status. The DACC nursing program is accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing.

Below are Frequently Asked Questions and Answers.


Question: Why is the program on conditional status with the New Mexico Board of Nursing?

Answer: There is a variety of criteria for state NMBON program approval.  DACC’s Associate degree program met all but one of those criteria. The associate degree in nursing program is on conditional status because for three consecutive years the pass rate for first-time takers of the NCLEX-RN exams fell below 80 percent. These are first-time DACC pass rates for the past three consecutive years:

Graduates success on NCLEX exam (first-time pass rates)
2014: 42%
2015: 70%
2016: 77.7%

Please note:  Some students who did not pass the first-time, did on subsequent tests.  Here are the results of overall test-takers over the past three years:
2014 –  7 tested; 100% overall pass rate
2015 –  10 tested; 100% overall pass rate
2016 –  18 tested; 100% overall pass rate

Q: Is the nursing program accredited?

A: The DACC Associate Degree nursing program currently has initial accreditation through the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) through 2020.


Q: How does the conditional status impact current students?

A: The status should have no impact on current students. In 2015, the program implemented a new curriculum and began to implement changes in the nursing program during all four semesters with the goal of better preparing students for the exam.


Q: How does this status impact financial aid?

A: Financial aid will not be impacted.


Q: Who is affected by conditional status?

A: Currently, due to the conditional status, the program is not able to accept new students into the Associate Degree in Nursing Program. The college anticipates that the status will change and pre-nursing students will be notified via the pre-nursing listserv as more information is available. 


Q: Will the program accept any new applications?

A: Yes, the department will continue to accept applications while the program is under review by the New Mexico Board of Nursing.  Students who want to be admitted right away will be admitted into our Licensed Practical Nursing program.  Those who do not wish to pursue that option can still turn in applications and they will be held until the New Mexico Board of Nursing lifts the restriction on admitting into the Associate Degree in Nursing Program.


Q: Does this status impact any clinical partnerships?

A: No, the college has strong clinical partnerships that will continue with regional hospitals and clinics.


Q: Why did the college’s pass rate drop below 80 percent?

A: A number of factors contributed to the initial decline including: an increase in the minimum passing standard for the NCLEX-RN exam in 2014; smaller than average graduating cohort sizes due to smaller numbers of admissions in 2012 and 2013; positive curriculum changes that were implemented after students graduated in 2014  . 


Q: What are the program’s strengths?

A: The program offers unique support services to promote the success of our students including our student success coordinator and tutoring sessions offered by faculty.  Our program is one of only a few that has a simulation lab led by a Certified Healthcare Simulation Educator and has a much larger number of full-time Master’s prepared faculty than many programs of similar size.  In addition, the program has faculty who have practiced in a variety of nursing settings who can apply their depth and breadth of knowledge to support student learning in the classroom.  DACC’s affordable nursing program costs significantly less than many similar programs in the region.


Q: I’m a current nursing student and still have some concerns.  Who should I talk to?

A: Students enrolled in the nursing program can set up an appointment with Tracy Lopez, DACC’s Nursing Program Director 528-7236 or email


Q: I am a pre-nursing student, and am interested in discussing my options for meeting pre-requisites for the program and exploring other options in the health care field. Who can I talk with?

A: Pre-nursing students can set up an appointment with Mendy Fowler, DACC’s Academic Advisor, 528-7249 or email


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