University of Dubuque Nursing Students Achieve 100 Percent Pass Rate

Sep 23, 2016 | Stacey Ortman, director of public information

DUBUQUE, Iowa – University of Dubuque’s 2016 Bachelor of Science Nursing (BSN) program graduates scored a 100 percent pass rate on their first attempt at the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN).

Nationally, about 84 percent of nursing graduates pass the NCLEX-RN on their first attempt. It is the first time UD graduates have achieved a 100 percent pass rate on the exam.

“This is a remarkable achievement, and it speaks to living out UD’s mission of ‘excellence in academic inquiry and professional preparation.’ In particular, it represents the commitment of our faculty to meet students where they are and provide a learning environment in which all can succeed,” said Mark Ward, vice president for academic affairs.

Nineteen UD BSN graduates passed the comprehensive examination on their first attempt. The exam determines whether student is prepared for entry-level nursing practice.

“We are happy and excited in the Nursing Department,” said Peg Kerr, head of the Nursing Department and professor of nursing. “The students are very pleased too; it’s a point of pride to be able to say your school or alma mater has a very high pass rate. It’s an indication of the quality of the program. Our students deserve this, as they are all highly committed. Most of them come to us as first-year students already carrying a passion for studying nursing and a great desire to be professional nurses at the BSN level.”

UD’s NCLEX-RN first attempt pass rate was 85 percent in 2015 and 95 percent in 2014.

According to the National Council of State Boards of Nursing that administers the NCLEX-RN, only one Iowa program for registered nurse licensure had 100 percent of their graduates pass the NCLEX-RN the first time in 2015 – Iowa Wesleyan University. No Iowa programs achieved the feat in 2014 and 2013. Statewide data for 2016 will be released in early 2017.

The University of Dubuque Nursing Program gives students the opportunity to explore and learn in a variety of care settings including hospital inpatient care, long-term care, public schools, and respite care camp for children and adults with disabilities. In their senior capstone, students are paired with a practicing nurse for a 144-hour preceptorship in which they learn how to transition from the student role to the role of the professional nurse. The University’s program is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).