While students at Grayson College prepare for final exams starting next week, the nursing program is celebrating recent successes on another major exam its students must pass.
In the past two semesters, students of the Grayson College Nursing Program have achieved a 90.8 percent pass rate on the Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses on the first attempt. This is the 10th consecutive year that the College has achieved a pass rate on the examination over 90 percent.
The NCLEX-RN is a test designated to license nurses for practice in state of Texas and United States. The test consists of at least 75 questions that adapt to the answers given by the student, to determine strengths and weaknesses. Every three years, the national council evaluates the exam to determine if it reflects current nursing practices.
Of the students who did not pass on the first attempt, 70 percent passed on the second attempt.
According to a Texas Board of Nursing report which gives results for 63 associate degree in nursing programs and 38 Bachelor of Science nursing programs, Grayson College’s program was one of 12 ADN programs in the state to meet a 90 percent pass rate.
“I would put this program against a Bachelor of Science nursing program every day,” said Cate Fuqua, associate degree nursing professor at Grayson College.
Fuqua attributes the college’s success to the strong leadership in the administration, and the fact that most of the administrators are experienced registered nurses.
“Grayson College has always maintained a high success rate due absolutely to the highly professional and dedicated nursing faculty, as well as academic faculty that prepare the students prior to their first nursing course,” said Joanna Barnes, program director of Grayson College’s nursing program, who has been with the program for 28 years.
Another part of the success is the rigorous program itself, said Fuqua. In its simulation lab, Grayson College has many tools and equipment designed to give students realistic practice. That includes a series of $50,000 talking practice mannequins that are used to simulate real patient situations. One of which is even capable of simulating giving birth.
The nursing faculty at GC also strive to make their college testing as close to the NCLEX-RN test as possible. In the fall of 2013, all Nursing 1 class examinations were done online. In 2014, all nursing program tests will be administered online.
“We try to test them as the state board tests them, so they are as comfortable as possible going into those tests,” said Fuqua.
Grayson College’s success is during a downturn in pass rates nationwide. The national pass rate is down 9.74 percent for 2013, said Barnes. The national pass rate for the second quarter of 2013 was 83 percent.
“I am so very proud of our graduates and the faculty who prepared them,” said Barnes.