NWACC DACA Nursing Students Not Forced To Leave Program

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BENTONVILLE (KFSM) -- Northwest Arkansas Community College (NWACC) students are angry at what administrators are calling a misunderstanding.

This, after it became known that nursing students who have Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) immigrant status can't get board certified for nursing.

Students all over the country—including Arkansas -- learned they may not be eligible to get their nursing license if they are a recipient of DACA.

Rumors were circulating on social media and around campus that DACA recipients were being kicked out of the NWACC program.

Mark Wallenmeyer, the dean of health professions tells 5News, they are aware of those rumors, and said  U.S.  students will be allowed to remain in the program, but may have to go out-of-state to get board certified.

Earlier this year it was discovered that DACA recipients would not be able to get their license even if they passed National Council Licensure Examination.

This decision was made on a Federal level and places like NWACC, or the state, have no say in it.

Despite rumors on social media that students are being kicked out,  Wallenmeyer said that isn't the case.

"We are not going to kick them out unlike the Facebook posts have said," stated Wallenmeyer, "they need to continue in the program. They need to be in constant contact with the nursing program director and myself."

Wallenmeyer also said they are in contact with other academic officers around the state and the state board of nursing to see what they are doing.

Right now, NWACC nursing students will be able to graduate from the program,  but will have to go to California, Washington state, or New York to take their board exams.