Nursing grads doing well on exams

Graduates of Western Carolina University’s School of Nursing have been posting high pass rates this year on national certification and licensure examinations.

A report from the N.C. Board of Nursing indicates that 98 percent of graduates from WCU’s bachelor of science in nursing program have passed the National Council Licensure Examination, the standard licensure test for registered nurses, so far in 2010.

Fifty-five of 56 WCU students who took the NCLEX, as it is commonly called, passed it and earned their licenses, said Vincent Hall, director of the School of Nursing. That group included some students who finished their degree requirements in WCU’s traditional BSN program in May, and others who completed the accelerated BSN program in August.

Across North Carolina, graduates from 70 community colleges and four-year schools have taken the NCLEX in 2010, and only 10 schools matched or exceeded WCU’s pass rate. The pass rate for all graduates taking the examination in the state is 89 percent.

Two other groups of WCU nursing graduates have recorded a 100 percent pass rate on their national certification examinations.

All nine of the graduates from WCU’s master’s degree program in nurse anesthesia who took the Nurse Anesthesia Certification Examination in May and June passed it, said Shawn Collins, director of WCU’s program. Those graduates comprise the second group of nurse anesthesia students to complete WCU’s program, which started in 2007.

Also, all 14 graduates from WCU’s family nurse practitioner master’s degree program passed their national certification examination in May and June, said Judy Neubrander, associate dean in WCU’s College of Health and Human Sciences and associate director for graduate programs in the School of Nursing.

“We are proud that the good preparation our students are receiving in nursing academic programs is reflected in these licensure and certification examination scores,” Hall said. “This is a reflection of our faculty’s ability to guide the learning process to foster the holistic development of our students, and of our students’ willingness to commit themselves to the serious training required to become top-notch health care workers.”

For more information about School of Nursing academic programs, contact Jessica Shirley, director of student services, at 828-670-8810, extension 247, or e-mail