Ukiah… The Mendocino College Nursing Program is excited to announce that all 23 nursing candidates in the 2020 graduating class have passed their NCLEX State Board Examinations.

The National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) is a required exam that measures the competencies needed to perform safely and effectively as an entry-level nurse and must be passed before a nurse receives their licensing. 

Over the last 11 years, graduates in the college’s nursing program have achieved a 100% pass rate in 8 of those years.  This is a huge accomplishment because the statewide average for the NCLEX is approximately 85%.  The Mendocino College Nursing Program is truly one of the best programs in the State of California.

This is due to the dedication of students, faculty and staff.  The nursing faculty and staff get to know each and every student over the span of the two-year program.  “We are a family, and we care for each other like a family- our individual successes often translate to the group’s success,” stated Heidi Crean, Professor.

“I am so proud of the nursing graduates from Mendocino College. They have been learning state of the art nursing skills and evidence based practices from our extraordinary faculty in the classroom, and online to meet the demands of Covid-19, in the sim lab and in the clinical setting. We are especially proud to say that the majority of our students have stayed local and are employed by the hospitals, dialysis units and private practice offices,” stated Peggy Goebel, Dean/Director of the Nursing Program.

For the past eight years’, the Mendocino College Foundation has coordinated an annual NCLEX fundraising event for the program.  “In early 2012, I had my annual meeting with Foundation Director, Al Beltrami to discuss his gift to the Mendocino College Foundation.  I had met with then Nursing Director Barbara French to ask what nursing students needed help with- her response was simple, they needed money to pay for their NCLEX state boards, she stated.  We created a basic chart, calculated how many students with the fee’s and I had my pitch for Beltrami.  When I met with Al, who was one of the most generous and funny human beings I have ever met; I relayed the information and I suggested a surprise element to his gift.  I asked him to attend the nursing graduation and present each graduate with a check to fund their NCLEX and it would be a surprise only a few of us would know about.  He loved the idea, and on May 12, 2012, during the beautiful graduation ceremony, Al Beltrami was called to the stage and Director French announced his gift, that eighteen graduates were receiving a check to pay for their NCLEX state exam fees. There was a hush or silence that fell across the room then the tears began.  Students, family and staff all became misty eyed.  It was one of the most special moments in my life.” Stated Katie Fairbairn, Executive Director.

Eight years later, Beltrami’s gift is still going strong- every year the Mendocino College Foundation asks the community to support the NCLEX and each year they graciously give to ensure that our nurses take and pass their NCLEX as quickly as possible.  It is estimated that over 140 students have received their NCLEX state board fee’s which has ensured their careers in the nursing profession.

We would especially like to thank Mr. Al Beltrami in memoriam for starting this wonderful program and Dr. Barbara French (retired nursing director), and to the 2020 donors:  Pacific Redwood Medical Group, Tom Dow, Stuart Campbell, Ilene Weeks, John & Nancy Buechsenstein, Patrick Taylor, Robert Becker and our anonymous donors.

According to Fairbairn, “you often don’t know how well something will turn out in the beginning, here we are eight years later and Al’s program continues.  The only thing missing are my annual meetings with him at the Ukiah Garden Café in the Al Beltrami booth. I am grateful to have known Al Beltrami and especially thankful that his gift took root and will continue for years to come.”

For more information about the Mendocino College Foundation or to donate towards any of their programs, please contact Katie Fairbairn, Executive Director at or call 707-468-3164.

Recent News

Welcome New Foundation Executive Director, Julie McGovern

Welcome New Foundation Executive Director, Julie McGovern

Ukiah, CA – “The Mendocino College Foundation is pleased to announce that it has named Julie McGovern as its new Executive Director effective January 2022,” said Foundation Board President, Tom Dow. McGovern brings a wealth of leadership experience and a passion for...

read more