January 25, 2018 3:30PM
University administrators received official notice that PSU’s 2017 Bachelor of Science in Nursing graduates achieved a first-time NCLEX-RN exam pass rate, the test all nurses must pass in order to be licensed, of 94.29 percent. It’s the school’s highest number in over a decade and nearly 7 percent higher than the national average.
“It’s our highest pass rate since at least 2005,” said Cheryl Giefer, director of the Bradley School of Nursing. “It’s an important accomplishment because it reflects the quality of our program, and because employers know our graduates are ready to work.”
Normally, the NCLEX pass rate alone would be cause for celebration, but the Bradley School of Nursing also achieved another record in 2017: one that has a special meaning for Giefer.
“Our 2017 completion rate was 97.26 percent,” said Giefer. “A completion rate that high is almost unheard of in the world of undergraduate nursing education. Obtaining a completion rate this high is only possible because our School of Nursing faculty believe the field of nursing is a calling as much as it is a career. They’ll do what it takes to make sure our students succeed.”
One of the keys to having such a high completion rate is the level of personalized attention given to students who might initially find the curriculum overwhelming.
“Nursing isn’t easy,” said Giefer. “Students can suddenly find themselves falling behind. Our previous director, Mary Carol Pomatto, understood the importance of identifying students who may be at-risk early in their nursing academic career. She helped design our ‘Enrichment’ program which mentors these students through tutoring and dedicated study time. It’s very prescriptive and, as you can tell, very effective.”
This type of personalized academic programming also is very popular with employers who actively are seeking qualified nurses to meet a growing demand.
“In 2016, the Kansas Hospital Association reported a staff-nurse vacancy rate of 8.3 percent,” said Giefer. “That’s nearly 1,000 unfilled positions in Kansas alone. As our population ages, the demand for qualified nurses is certain to increase. We’re doing our part to help meet our state’s healthcare needs.”
Which leads us to one final number of which Giefer is proud to list.
"Our placement rate for graduates is 100 percent,” said Giefer. “Many of our students have two or more job offers to choose from after graduation, which makes all of the hard work worthwhile.”
For additional information about the Irene Ransom Bradley School of Nursing and the BSN program visit www.pittstate.edu/department/nursing.