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King nursing grads get 100 percent on first-time licensure exam success

Community Contributor Anne Dunham • Updated Mar 14, 2019 at 2:36 PM

BRISTOL, Tenn. — For the second straight semester, graduates of King University’s Bristol nursing program have exceeded the national average by achieving a 100 percent pass rate on the licensure exam for registered nurses.

Each of the students earned bachelor of science in nursing (BSN) degrees at King’s main campus in either May or December of 2018, then passed the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nursing (NCLEX-RN) on the first attempt. The test is administered by the National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN).

“This tremendous success is indicative of the academic strength of King’s recently restructured BSN program and the extraordinary quality of its people,” said President Alexander Whitaker. “The comprehensive improvements implemented have positioned King’s nursing graduates to successfully transition from the classroom to the workplace while also ensuring they are well prepared to deliver exceptional patient care in our region and beyond.”

In Fall Semester 1999, King accepted its first students into the traditional nursing program, which allows newcomers to the profession to earn a BSN and then take the NCLEX-RN required to work as a registered nurse. The Tennessee Board of Nursing closely monitors performance on the licensure exam and, during a 2016 review, raised concerns about the success rate of King’s graduates. Following an internal evaluation, King leaders voluntarily ceased admission to the program until a more thorough review could be completed.

Tracy Slemp, dean of King’s School of Nursing, said she worked closely with university leaders and faculty members for more than a year to conduct a comprehensive assessment of the program. Sweeping changes were made to a variety of components that directly impact instruction she said, before the Tennessee Board of Nursing reinstated full approval status in February 2018. King began accepting students again last fall.

May 2018 graduates of King’s BSN program achieved a 93 percent pass rate, and the university’s overall NCLEX pass rate for 2018 was 88 percent. This includes all students who tested during 2018, regardless of when they graduated. The national pass rate for 2018 was 88.29 percent.

Those graduating with a BSN from King in December 2018 were all enrolled on the Bristol campus and, as noted, achieved a 100 percent pass rate. Because these students tested earlier this year, their results will be included in 2019 data.

Students who earn a BSN are well prepared to provide high quality patient care, obtain leadership positions within the nursing profession, and for graduate programs, Slemp said. In addition to its BSN program, King offers Bachelor of Science in Nursing for Registered Nurses (RN-BSN), Master of Science in Nursing (MSN), and Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) programs. All programs are fully approved by the Tennessee Board of Nursing and accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.

New students are currently being accepted. For additional information or enrollment assistance, please contact the King University Admission’s Office at admissions@king.edu or (800) 362-0014.

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