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Appalachian’s First Nursing Class Receives 100 Percent Pass Rate on National Council Licensure Exam

Aug. 30, 2012. One hundred percent of the first graduates from the Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree from Appalachian State University passed the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX). In addition, 100 percent of these students who were admitted to the College of Health Sciences Department of Nursing program in 2010 graduated in May and passed the exam on their first attempt.

These newly licensed BSN/RNs have all begun their careers in locations such as Appalachian Regional Healthcare System, Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, Duke University Medical Center, Catawba Valley Medical Center, Frye Regional Medical Center, Caldwell Memorial Hospital, Mission Health and Carolinas Medical Center.

Dr. Linda Johanson, interim chair of the nursing department, said the licensure exam pass rate is an important benchmark for any nursing program. 

“All nursing programs look at the first-time pass rate as a standard of excellence for their program,” she said. “It means that the students who take and pass with a high pass rate are qualified as being competent regarding the content in nursing that is relevant into entry into the practice. It’s an excellent statistic to have. We are delighted and proud of our students.”

“First cohort graduates in new nursing programs have a target on their back, and for our first to receive a 100 percent pass rate the first time they took the licensure exam is a testament to the academic training our students receive on campus from our nursing faculty, the invaluable on-site experience they gain from our clinical partners, and the hard work and dedication of our students,” said Dr. Fred K. Whitt, founding dean of the College of Health Sciences. 

Since the on-campus BSN program was approved in 2010, it has grown to approximately 80 students in the junior and senior class. More than 150 students applied for admission in the spring of 2012 and that number is expected to increase each year. “We are excited about the caliber of students who apply to our program. The most recent cohort admitted in 2012 had an average GPA of 3.7,” Whitt said.

Students are admitted to the nursing program during the spring of their sophomore year after completing required coursework in general education, chemistry, anatomy and physiology, statistics and microbiology.

The 124-semester hour prelicensure BSN program is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE), and is fully approved by the N.C. Board of Nursing.

Appalachian’s College of Health Sciences also now offers the RN-to-BSN program fully on line, and this program currently enrolls about 70 students. Since beginning in 2006, this program has graduated more than 100 students and the majority of these graduates work in their home communities. “Nurses in our service region want to pursue an opportunity to further their education without having to leave their jobs. Our online program provides that opportunity with maximum flexibility,” Whitt said.   

For more information about the BSN and RN-to-BSN programs at Appalachian, visit http://nursing.appstate.edu/.