More NCCU Nursing Graduates Pass Licensing Exam

Posted April 01, 2024, 3:14PM

A North Carolina Central University (NCCU) task force aimed at increasing the pass rate in licensing exams has been successful with nursing graduates. 

In 2023, graduates of the nursing program achieved a pass rate on the National Council Licensure Exam (NCLEX) of 94.4%. December graduates (NCCU holds two graduations per year) achieved a pass rate of 100%. 

For 2023, the average pass rate in the United States on the NCLEX exam was 80.9%. North Carolina did better, with 92%. 

Graduates of a nursing program are not allowed to practice their profession until they pass the NCLEX. 

In 2021, the pass rate for licensing examinations across the university were in the 80-percentile range, said David H. Jackson Jr., Ph.D., provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs. 

“When I came here, one of the first challenges the chancellor gave me was to make sure we were improving licensure pass rates,” he said. 

Jackson formed the Licensure Pass Rate Task Force and invited deans, administrators and faculty from the School of Law, School of Education and nursing department to meet regularly.  

Yolanda VanRiel, Ph.D., chair of the department of nursing, credits the increase in exam pass rates to initiatives that came out of the task force. 

The department of nursing reviewed its curriculum and made changes. It hired both full and part-time tutors, hired a person to conduct remediation with students and a consultant to go over test-taking strategies and foundational knowledge – pharmacology, adult health, etc. – in the months right before graduation. 

The department of nursing also added a diagnostic exam from ATI, which helps determine when students are prepared to take the NCLEX. 

“If students are not doing well, it shows where they need support,” Jackson said. 

VanRiel is pleased that their efforts have worked. 

“That is our aim, to have everybody pass on the first attempt,” she said. 

Jackson agrees. “Our results were inconsistent,” he said. “Now we are excelling, and our results are consistent.” 

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