N.C. A&T Nursing Graduates Exceed Benchmarks Once Again, Enrollment Swells

02/14/2017 College of Health and Human Sciences

GREENSBORO, NC (Feb. 14, 2017) – Recent graduates of the North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University School of Nursing logged a 90 percent pass rate on the most recent licensure and certification exams, adding to a stellar 15 months of growth and success for the program.

“This strong performance demonstrates that the rigor of our program and the preparation of our students for testing is a great formula for creating successful nurses for our health care system,” said Terry D. Ward, interim director and associate dean of the School of Nursing within the College of Health and Human Sciences. “We’re elated.”

The exam results come on the heels of a 92 percent pass rate for licensure and certification exams in 2016. Both years’ results are significantly above the 85 percent passage benchmarks established by the University of North Carolina Board of Governors.

In between those exam cycles, the university partnered with sister campuses and Cone Health to open the Union Square Campus in downtown Greensboro, a $34 million, 84,000 square foot nursing education facility offering state-of-the-art simulation equipment, labs, classrooms and an auditorium.

The campus hosts N.C. A&T’s Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing and Registered Nurse-Bachelor of Science in Nursing Completion entry programs.

Collectively, it all represents quite a turnaround from a program that fell on hard times in mid 2015, when the UNC Board of Governors suspended its right to admit new students to its traditional entry program (its Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing and Registered Nurse-Bachelor of Science in Nursing Completion programs were not affected). Following that, the school was placed on warning by the North Carolina Board of Nursing.

But the university successfully appealed the suspension, which was lifted in November 2015, beginning the schools’ remarkable journey back toward success. The Board of Nursing last week notified the school that its official warning has also been lifted.

Enrollment, which had suffered significantly during the school’s challenges, has grown steadily over the past year and now stands at 102 – and climbing.

This May, the school will get a chance to celebrate its success with a “white coat” ceremony – a symbolic rite of passage for students who have completed their first year of schooling that emphasizes humanistic, patient-centered care. It is a new addition for the school, which graduated its first class 60 years ago this year. The ceremony is being supported by a grant from the Arnold P. Gold Foundation, which made awards for that purpose to only two North Carolina schools this year: A&T and Duke.

“We are grateful for the Arnold P. Gold Foundation’s support,” said Ward. “In a way, it symbolizes not only a reward for the hard work of our first-year students, but a recognition of the achievement of all of our students, faculty and staff for the remarkable job they’ve done in setting a new course for our school.”