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Class of 2013 nursing grads achieve 100 percent board pass rate


The University of Virginia’s College at Wise nursing graduates from the Class of 2013 accomplished something special this summer as all 17 passed their board exams on the first try.

Garnering a 100 percent pass rate on the stringent board exam is something only a few schools have accomplished. There are less than a handful of schools in any state that achieve a 100 percent pass rate, Nursing Department Chair Cathie Collins explained.

“The department has worked very hard to uphold progression standards, increase admission standards, and implement changes to the curriculum that address essential content and foster critical thinking,” Collins said.

The nursing department faculty has attended multiple workshops to improve its knowledge of nursing education and curriculum, which has had a major impact on the entire program.

“We have incorporated many new technologies into the curriculum, including an increased emphasis on simulation, use of electronic health records, and the use of telehealth to give the students challenging, real-life experiences,” Collins said “All of this has helped prepare our students for their careers as nurses.”

The 100 percent pass rate is a huge accomplishment, especially when the national average is 85 percent.

“There is a critical nursing shortage nationally, and UVa-Wise is proud to have had a role in adding 17 new registered nurses to the healthcare field,” said UVa-Wise Chancellor Donna P. Henry. “Congratulations are in order for our graduates and our nursing faculty. It takes a great deal of hard work and determination to achieve a 100 percent pass rate, and it is another example of the high standards set by our nursing faculty and students.”

An interesting aspect of the Class of 2013’s achievement is that the 100 percent pass rate on the board examination came during the first year of a new test plan. Collins explained that the National Council of State Boards of Nursing issues a new test plan every three years, and the difficulty of the test increases each time.

“Typically, we see a drop in student pass rates the first year of a new test plan because the exam has increased in difficulty,” Collins said. “It is pretty impressive in itself for our students to have a 100 percent pass rate in a new test year.”