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New Mexico State University

New Mexico State University

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NMSU nursing students score highest national exam pass rate in program's history

Nursing students at New Mexico State University have set a record by achieving the highest pass rate on a national exam in the history of the Department of Nursing.

students must pass the National Council Licensing Exam for Registered Nurses, or NCLEX/RN, before they can be licensed as registered nurses in New Mexico.

Last year, 58 nursing students were graduated from NMSU. Fifty-four of these students passed the NCLEX/RN the first time they took it. That's a pass rate of over 92 percent for first-time test takers. Two students passed the exam on their second attempt.

Nationally, the pass rate for first-time NCLEX/RN takers was 81.2 percent last year.

Mary Hoke, academic department head for nursing at NMSU, said the state looks to fund programs that have high NCLEX pass rates.

She added the high achievement can help with recruiting efforts because students considering earning their nursing degrees at NMSU will be aware of the Nursing Department's highly successful program of study.

"I think the stability of the faculty has been a great help," Hoke said. "Also, the students understand what's expected of them in their roles as professional nurses and take those roles very seriously, trying to use all the resources available to them, so they'll be professional nurses of whom we'll all be very proud."

"It will be a good benchmark for us and hopefully we'll do even better in the future," added Jeffrey Brandon, dean of NMSU's College of Health and Social Services.

Bob Nosbisch
March 9, 2006