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50th GCCC nursing class to graduate in May

The Garden City Community College Nursing Program will graduate its 50th class this year.

A pinning ceremony is at 10 a.m. May 7, inside the Dennis Perryman Athletic Complex on the GCCC campus.

A reception will follow, and all previous graduates and former instructors are invited to return to campus to celebrate and tour the current nursing facilities.

The nursing program at GCCC has a long history, with the first class of registered nurses (RNs) graduating in 1972.

Since then, Garden City Community College has graduated over 1,200 nurses with a 100% job placement rate.

Patsy Zeller, an alum of the GCCC nursing program, began teaching in 2005 and transitioned to her current position of Director of Nursing in 2010. Zeller is excited about the upcoming milestone.

“I have watched the nursing program grow over the years and I’m very excited to celebrate the 50th class. The GCCC nursing program has seven faculty members currently, five of whom are alumni of the program as well,” Zeller said. “I would like to extend the invitation to all of our alumni and former instructors to come back to campus on May 7th. We’d love to reconnect and visit with you.”

The GCCC nursing program has continued to exemplify quality and excellence with licensing rates above both national and Kansas averages. In 2021, the average pass rate in Kansas for the RN Program was 84.58%, while GCCC nurses earned a 95.45% pass rate.

For the PN Program, the average pass rate for Kansas was 87.20%, and GCCC nurses earned a 91.67% pass rate.

The ADN program is accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) and both programs are approved by the Kansas State Board of Nursing (KSBN).

“The nursing program has continued to accomplish GCCC’s mission of producing positive contributors to the economic and social well-being of society,” President Ryan Ruda said. “I am very proud of the continuous success of the program, including the outstanding pass rates, and I look forward to honoring the 50th class.”

Students at GCCC can study pre-nursing, practical nursing, and receive their associate degree in nursing to become a registered nurse.

The nursing program is a selective program involving special admissions requirements and prepares students to serve the community through compassionate care.

For more information about how to enroll, contact Admissions at 620-276- 9608 or

For any questions about the pinning ceremony and reception on May 7, contact Judy Irsik Penka, Building Secretary, at 620-276-9560.