State College of Florida Nurses Tops in Licensure Exam Passage Rates

(Bradenton, Fla., August 31, 2015) – The State College of Florida, Manatee-Sarasota’s (SCF) Associate in Science in Nursing (ASN) program had one of the highest pass rates on the first attempt at the national licensing exam for Registered Nurses out of all Associate Degree Nursing programs (ADN) in Florida last year.

According to the Florida Legislature’s Office of Program Policy Analysis & Government Accountability, more than 96 percent of the 152 SCF ASN graduates passed the National Council of State Boards of Nursing’s National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN), out-performing the state average pass rate for ADN programs by 20 percent. The SCF graduates were also significantly ahead of the national pass rate average of 79.25 percent. 

Just three Florida schools had a pass rate higher than SCF; however, those programs graduated only between one and four students each compared to SCF’s 152.

“I am extremely proud of our nursing students and the faculty that mentored and instructed them,” said Dr. Carol F. Probstfeld, SCF president. “This is a strong indication of the outstanding faculty we have at SCF and the amazing graduates we send out into the community health care system every year. It is no surprise that this is one of our most recognizable and sought after programs.”

“When students come to us wanting to go into nursing, they ask about our NCLEX-RN pass rates,” noted Debra Marr, chair of the SCF Nursing Program. “And that fact that SCF’s are so high – typically above 90 percent - makes our students more marketable after graduation because employers know that our graduates have mastered the concepts and knowledge they need as entry level nurses.”

Between 275 and 300 students are enrolled in the ADN program in any given semester on the SCF campuses in Bradenton, Venice and Lakewood Ranch. The program combines course work on campus with guided clinical experiences in health care facilities in Manatee, Sarasota and DeSoto counties.

While the program has been offered since the late 1950s, SCF prides itself on being progressive, said Marr. “Our faculty keep abreast of the current health care trends and bring that information back to the classroom. We are very conscious of becoming stagnant, so how we teach today is very different than the methods used 10 years ago.”

Marr notes that SCF is in the process of updating the curriculum with an eye toward helping students build on the knowledge they are acquiring each semester. For example, she said, pediatric principles will be taught where relevant throughout the program rather than just covered in a four-week period with an expectation that students will retain what they learn throughout the required nursing courses.

Faculty work with students throughout the program to help them prepare not only for the content but for the format of the NCELX-RN, a computer-based, adaptive test with as many as 265-questions based on the veracity of the answers given. Those graduates who pass the exam become registered nurses.

“We want to be able to graduate safe practitioners,” Marr said. “Our outstanding pass rate on the NCLEX-RN is one way we know that we are doing that.”

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