Dr. Kathleen Kasprzak, director of nursing at CCC, attributes this rate primarily to the tremendous efforts of the College's very talented and dedicated full time nursing and adjunct faculty. "But we could not have achieved this level of success without the contributions and commitment of the College as a whole: board of trustees, administration, support services and contributing faculty from related divisions," stated Kasprzak. "We recognize as well the significant contributions made by the staff of the clinical sites where our students receive the experiential portion of their education. We are very proud of this achievement and of course very proud of our students who meet the demanding challenges required by the nursing curriculum." Kasprzak admits she can assume no credit for this past success, being new to the position, however, she looks forward to the challenge of perpetuating this legacy of excellence into the future. This will be no small task, especially when CCC's nursing program is a critical component of the area's healthcare system. Many, if not most CCC graduates become employed in the Plattsburgh and surrounding areas following graduation. Last year, for example, 63 percent of CVPH's new nurse hires were Clinton Community College graduates. Committed to finding ways to move the nursing program forward, Kasprzak recently attended the 33rd Annual Professional Nursing Educator Group Conference, Partnerships Toward Progress: Creating the Nurse of the Future, in Burlington, Vt. The conference focused on issues such as addressing community needs for health care in the future, the national nursing shortage, and the shortage of nursing faculty. The recurring theme throughout the conference was the requisite to develop partnerships between education and practice. Partnerships provide a framework for pooling of human and financial resources, in an environment of declining numbers of nursing faculty and limited funding. Meetings to begin addressing some of these challenges in the community are currently underway. In preparation for this partnership initiative, Kasprzak feels, "We must have our own house in order" and to that end, she has scheduled a nursing faculty planning retreat for early summer. "As a Nursing Division, we proudly participate in the fulfillment of Clinton's mission to our community," said Kasprzak. "We are living in a dynamic healthcare environment and need to be poised to meet the changing needs of our students, our community, and the healthcare system, itself."