April 1, 2013
SUBJECT: ARMSTRONG MCDONALD SCHOOL OF NURSING GRADUATES EXCEED NATIONAL AND STATE NCLEX PASS RATES
Before a nursing graduate can practice as a Registered Nurse (RN) in a clinical setting in the United States, he/she must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses or NCLEX-RN. According to the National Council of State Boards of Nursing, this rigorous test “measures the competencies needed to perform safely and effectively as newly-licensed, entry-level nurse.”
To date, three graduating classes from the College of the Ozarks Armstrong McDonald School of Nursing, which launched in the fall of 2007, have taken the NCLEX-RN, achieving an average pass rate of 94 percent. This pass rate exceeds the national average of 90 percent and Missouri average of 93 percent. Notably, the 2012 graduating BSN class reached a 100 percent pass rate.
Armstrong McDonald School of Nursing Director Dr. Janice Williams believes the challenging nature of the College’s nursing program puts students in a favorable position for success on the NCLEX-RN.
“Students are taught by faculty content experts an intentional process of critical thinking and analyze sample exam questions throughout the program,” she says. “They are taught how to reason ‘why’ regarding safe, quality patient care. Additionally, all students take Assessment Technology, Inc., standardized exams each semester, including upon entrance to the program, and must meet each of the required program benchmarks in order to continue in the program.”
The success of Armstrong McDonald School of Nursing graduates demonstrates the effectiveness of the program. A post-graduation survey shows that 94 percent find employment within the first six months following graduation with 74 percent of those guaranteed employment prior to their graduation. Two percent immediately enter graduate school after receiving their BSN degree from College of the Ozarks.
The School’s first nurse cadet graduate, First Lieutenant Brent Turpin (class of 2011), is serving in the U.S. Army as a Clinical Staff Nurse on the surgical floor at William Beaumont Army Medical Center.
Senior nursing major Kristen Cato said that she feels prepared for success on the NCLEX-RN, as well as in the nursing field. “Since beginning the program we have been challenged every way possible—from course work to the clinical setting,” she said. “The program promotes you to be the best person and the best nurse you can be to provide the best patient care.”