Local nursing school celebrates high pass rate

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Nursing student Ashley Prentice learns from assistant professor of nursing Dr. Ashleigh Heter in the Irene Ransom Bradley School of Nursing. Students in the school achieved a 93% pass rate on the NCLEX exams — two percentage points higher than the national average.

PITTSBURG, Kans. — The Irene Ransom Bradley School of Nursing at Pittsburg State University is celebrating: last year’s nursing students achieved a 93% pass rate on the NCLEX Registered Nurse Board exams — a nationwide test for the licensing of nurses given by the National Council of State Boards of Nursing. 

That pass rate is two percentage points higher than the national average for BSN graduates, and represents all testing done from Jan. 1, 2020, through Jan. 1, 2021. 

It’s not the first time the school has had cause to celebrate: in 2018, the school made history with a pass rate of 98.68 — a full 10 points higher than the national average for first-time, U.S.-educated test takers — and in 2019, when a new version of the test was administered, the school boasted a 91% compared to the national average of 88%. 

The 2020 pass rate is especially noteworthy, said Director Cheryl Giefer, because it was achieved in the midst of the pandemic and a time of challenging course delivery. 

Janelle Martin, nursing education compliance officer for the Kansas State Board of Nursing, described it as “a tough year at best” and that it was “good to see the continued positive results from PSU.”  

Giefer said she is “extremely proud of the students’ success, and of the faculty who helped prepare them.” 

Mary Carol Pomatto, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, credited the IRBSON faculty and Giefer for maintaining high standards of quality. 

“It is a well-known fact that they support every individual student in preparing them to be not only successful on the national certification examination, but also in preparing them to be competent practitioners,” Pomatto said.  

She also credited the health care community that works closely with PSU’s nursing program to provide excellent clinical experiences for the students. 

“We have established successful partnerships for which we are grateful,” Pomatto said. 

Learn more about the IRBSON at www.pittstate.edu/nursing 

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