N.C. A&T School of Nursing Celebrates High NCLEX-RN Pass Rate

By East L Dockery / 09/11/2023 Students, College of Health and Human Sciences, Nursing

EAST GREENSBORO, N.C. (Sept. 11, 2023) – North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University’s School of Nursing in the John R. and Kathy R. Hairston College of Health and Human Sciences is celebrating its National Council Licensure Examination-Registered Nurse (NCLEX-RN) pass rate.

It is the latest example of the school’s growth to meet the needs of both its students and the community it serves.

The School of Nursing has a current 97% overall pass rate for its 2022-23 graduating class. All 23 students in the traditional BSN entry option who took the exam between April 1 and June 30 passed, resulting in the school’s 100 percent pass rate for the May graduation cohort, according to the National Council of State Boards of Nursing.

The accelerated BSN cohort that graduated in December 2022 performed equally well, with six of the seven students passing the first time they took the NCLEX. This is a remarkable overall program achievement at a time when the nation transitioned to the NextGen NCLEX test format.

The U.S. national pass rate for first-time test takers fell to 79.9% and 63.4% for all test takers in 2022, according to Nurse Journal.

“Our nursing students were especially hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic, which negatively impacted their access to resources necessary for acquisition of core competencies. This resulted in a decline in NCLEX performance rates for 2021 and 2022,” said Elimelda Moige Ongeri, Ph.D., Hairston College dean. “I am so grateful and proud of the School of Nursing leadership, faculty and students for putting in the work to achieve an outstanding NCLEX pass rate for 2023.”

To ensure sustainable performance, the School of Nursing has invested many resources in new faculty hires and student support staff, as well as innovative strategies and learning system platforms to help prepare students. For example, students are assigned an academic coach, who is different from an academic advisor. Academic coaching allows the faculty to meet one-on-one with students and review their progress in courses and ways to maximize their test-taking strategies.

The school also uses a learning platform called the Assessment Technologies Institute, which helps students answer NCLEX-style questions throughout the program in preparation for the NCLEX.

“I feel like the preparation for the NCLEX starts as soon as you begin nursing school,” said Kayla Colin, a May 2023 graduate. “Because with the NCLEX, it’s all cumulative knowledge. So literally anything that you learn from day one to your very last final is when you start preparing for the NCLEX.”

Staff and faculty make it a priority to reinforce positive affirmations to keep students motivated. Faculty and staff also make sure students feel included and supported throughout their collegiate nursing journey.

“I always say that I got to experience the true essence of Aggie Pride since I stepped foot in Noble Hall,” Colin said. “Literally every professor in that building, they are your biggest advocate. They are your biggest fan and they want you to do your best. I absolutely love my professors.”

“Our NCLEX results say that we’re invested and committed to student success,” said Tiffany Morris, DNP, M.S. Ed., MSN, BSN, Clara Adams Endowed Professor and School of Nursing director. “But it also tells you about the students. The students we have are very resilient and I know people throw that word around all the time, but students have demonstrated their ability to stay focused, to stay encouraged, and to finish the work with excellence. I’m proud of our students at North Carolina A&T.”

The School of Nursing has leveraged scholarship support from Health Resources & Services Administration (HrSA), alumni and corporate partners to meet the financial needs of all students in upper division nursing. A 2021 five-year $3.25 million HrSA award to A&T continues to secure scholarships for disadvantaged students. This has had a positive impact on student performance as it minimizes the need for nursing students to take on jobs that compete for study time during the academic year. The HrsA funding has supported 144 students to date.

In addition to graduating BSN trained nurses, A&T has received preliminary authorization from the University of North Carolina System to plan a new doctor of nursing practice (DNP) program. This will position A&T to prepare students for careers as expert nurse clinicians and leaders who develop, implement and evaluate programs of care and transform health care systems.

Media Contact Information: eldockery@ncat.edu

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