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Nursing grads ace national exam, beat national average

Nursing graduates from Lamar University’s JoAnne Gay Dishman School of Nursing once again exceeded the national first-time pass rate on the NCLEX-RN national licensing exam this spring. The national first-time pass rate average on the NCLEX-RN is 92%; Lamar University’s first-time pass rate for its spring graduates is 97%.
Nursing students 2020
Spring 2020 nursing graduates

Any nursing school with a 90% or higher first-time pass rate receives a commendation from the Texas Board of Nursing. Since 2013, LU’s School of Nursing has received a commendation for NCLEX pass rates every year except one.

“Achieving an NCLEX pass rate of 97% is particularly exceptional for this group,” said Dr. Gina Hale, assistant professor of nursing. “Our spring graduates were faced with unprecedented events – a pandemic that led to virtual learning. But in nursing, we have to adapt to an ever-changing health care environment. Both faculty and students exemplified adaptability, a commitment to excellence and a true spirit of team.”

The School of Nursing admits between 70 and 88 students each fall and spring. Admission is competitive based on a minimum GPA achieved in core and prerequisite nursing courses. In addition, nursing program applicants must take a standardized exam and meet benchmark scores.

“Our faculty and students are excellent; our curriculum is fantastic and educationally sound and the program is based on national competencies, which is why our students excel beyond the national standard,” said Hale.

Traditionally, in their senior year, LU nursing students participate in a capstone experience. Each student is paired with a nurse preceptor out in the field. Students work one-on-one with a nurse for several shifts. The program adds an experiential learning element to LU’s nursing degree.

“This group was unable to complete the preceptorship experience due to COVID-19,” said Hale.  “Despite not having hands-on clinical experience in their preceptorship course, these students did exceptionally well on the NCLEX exam.”