Nursing students post perfect passing rate on licensing exam
Aug. 28, 2009

Based on the performance of its most recent graduates, LaGrange College’s Nursing Department deserves an A+.

All 30 members of the 2009 nursing class passed the National Council Licensure Examination, the licensing test for nurses. According to the National Council of State Boards of Nursing, the average passing rate to date for 2009 is 90.82 percent for students in baccalaureate programs.

“The nursing faculty has worked hard to revise our curriculum to meet the needs of our students in their quest to become a professional nurse,” said Dr. Celia Hay, Chair of the Nursing Department. “The final step to doing that is passing the NCLEX exam.”

The curriculum was restructured about two years ago, and this is the first class to graduate with that new course of study, according to Dr. Maranah Sauter, Chair of the Division of Professional Programs, which includes the Nursing Department. The faculty also has instituted other changes to help their students succeed.

“We have recently implemented new technology in standardized testing, and require that all incoming students pass an entrance exam,” she said. “This helps to ensure that our students are prepared to begin the nursing curriculum.”

The nursing students are required to take an NCLEX preparation course just prior to graduation to help them review what they have learned throughout the nursing program and to familiarize them with the format for the licensure exam.

Although the passing rate is exciting, Sauter said what needs to be celebrated is the quality of education LaGrange College offers its nursing students.

“With a liberal arts background, our students also learn communication skills, creativity in problem solving and critical thinking – all things that hospital administrators are looking for in nurses. Our students are very well prepared.”

Members of the 2009 nursing class are working in hospitals in Nashville, Tenn.; Macon; Atlanta; Asheville, N.C., Columbus, Newnan and Griffin, as well as LaGrange.

“We have very close ties to West Georgia Health System,” Sauter said. “Our program was established to help meet the need for nurses in our community, and we continue to do that with many of our graduates going to work at West Georgia.”

Today, many hospitals around the country are offering programs similar to the school’s Sims Scholarship, where the student agrees to work in the hospital to repay funding for their education.

Today there are more resources than ever in the form of scholarships, grants and loans for students who want to pursue nursing.

“We are working hard to make potential students more aware of these opportunities that make a nursing degree more affordable,” Sauter said.

“In most cases, a bachelor of science in nursing degree is only the beginning of what can be a varied and rewarding career at many levels,” Sauter said. “In the long run, our students will go so much farther because of the well-rounded education they get here.”

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