U of L nursing graduates have higher licensure pass rate than U.S. average, but are the numbers skewed?
Of the 140 University of Louisville School of Nursing graduates who took the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses last year, 96 percent had a pass rate for 2011, exceeding the national average.
A total of 140 graduates took the test. (Passing the NCLEX-RN is one of the final steps in the nurse licensure process.)
This admirable pass rate is no surprise to the school of nursing. But it may also be masking a problem that’s gotten little media attention: Too many promising students can’t get in nursing programs because there aren’t enough instructors. So, with only the cream of the high school crop getting in, licensure exam rate rise.
For several years now, U of L’s pass rates consistently have been higher than the national average (for baccalaureate degree graduates is about 89-percent for this year).
“This speaks to the quality of education at the School of Nursing,” said nursing school Dean Marcia Hern, Ed.D. “We are at the forefront of preparing quality baccalaureate, master’s, and doctoral nurses through innovative teaching methods – not just for today, but tomorrow.”
But speaking of tomorrow, it’s important to note this trend in nursing: U.S. nursing schools turned away more than 67,500 qualified applicants in 2010 because of a lack of faculty, according to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing. Not enough nurses are getting advanced degrees, putting programs such as U of L in jeopardy of having more demand than supply.
And that means nursing shortages just as the time a huge percentage of America’s population is over 60 years old, increasing the demand for long-term nursing care.