Nursing Program achieves perfect pass rate on national licensing exam


TUSKEGEE, Ala. (October 27, 2010) — The Tuskegee University Nursing Program proudly announces the achievement of a 100 percent pass rate on the National Council Licensure Examination-RN (NCLEX) for graduates in 2009 and 2010.  

"This stellar performance by first-time test-takers can be accredited to several changes made internally to improve the curriculum, enhance teaching effectiveness and optimize use assessment data to improve students' learning outcomes," said Dr. Doris Holeman, associate dean, Tuskegee University School of Nursing and Allied Health.

"A few years of lower pass rates prompted the nursing department to revise the curriculum with the first implementation in 2006," Holeman said.  "This led to the 2008 graduating class achieving an 88.9 percent pass rate on the NCLEX.   We then moved to a 100 percent pass rate on the first attempt for graduates in 2009 and 2010."

Maintaining the desired pass rate is extremely important to the nursing program because of the impact it has on maintaining state approval, national accreditation, enrollment, and faculty and students' morale. 

Tuskegee University has a long history of training and educating nurses, with the first nursing program being initiated in 1892.  While the nursing program has remained constant in the preparation of leaders in the field of nursing for many years and never lost its national accreditation, the Alabama Board of Nursing placed it on "approval with deficiency" in 2003. In 2008, the nursing program regained full approval status.

"It is a major accomplishment for the Department of Nursing to be at this point.  The faculty was steadfast in their efforts to turn this around and we commend them for their hard work and commitment to achieving this goal," said Dr. Tsegaye Habtemariam, dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine, Nursing and Allied Health.

Holeman continues, "While the University has utilized a total testing program since the late 1990s, one of the most important changes has been the way faculty utilized the results to develop individualized enrichment success plans for each student who performed poorly and to review and revise course content for each related course." 

Tuskegee University invested more than $200,000 in the nursing program to upgrade the Nursing Skills Laboratory with computerized equipment and to develop a second, more advanced, high-tech skills laboratory that has increased learning opportunities to simulate hospitalized patients.  

"Each of these components provided opportunities for students to enhance critical thinking skills and to apply nursing knowledge to clinical practice," Holeman said. "As a result, students have been better able to employ good clinical reasoning to work through nursing situations encountered on the NCLEX examination."

The licensing authorities within each state regulate entry into the practice of nursing.  Nursing students from every higher education institution in the United States and its territories, upon completion of the requirement for graduation from their respective institution, must pass this examination to be eligible to practice professional nursing and be authorized to identify themselves as registered nurses.

To ensure public protection, each jurisdiction requires a candidate for licensure to pass an examination that measures the competencies needed to perform safely and effectively as a newly licensed, entry-level nurse.

Tuskegee established the first baccalaureate nursing program in the state of Alabama in 1949.  

The nursing program at Tuskegee University is accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission and is approved by the Alabama Board of Nursing.

To learn more about the Tuskegee University College of Veterinary Medicine, Nursing and Allied Health, visit


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