All of the nursing graduates in the UVA Wise Class of 2019 achieved a 100 percent pass rate on their national licensure exam, something that is rare for any entire cohort nationally to accomplish on the first try.

And this was not the first time a class of nursing students from UVA Wise accomplished spectacular results. The UVA Wise Class of 2013 did the same on their NCLEX exams. The average first time pass rate for individual Virginia students is 91 percent while the national average drops to slightly over 89 percent.

“It comes as no surprise that our 2019 nursing graduates had a 100 percent pass rate on their national exam,” said Chancellor Donna P. Henry. “Our nursing students are dedicated to their studies and work hard to master all the lessons our Department of Nursing faculty teach them. Their strong work ethic is just one reason medical centers in our region are eager to select our students for clinicals, and our graduates are in high demand to fill nursing positions in many states.”

Cathleen Collins, chair of the nursing department and the Kathleen Miller Strunk Endowed professor, said the group of 11 seniors were expected to do well. The class consistently received positive feedback from the medical clinics.

“Our students are constantly praised by our hospital partners and employers for being well-prepared and professional both in the clinical setting and when they begin work in the facilities,” Collins said.

This group worked hard and they had positive attitudes. Several plan to attend graduate school next fall and all have received jobs following graduation.

“We have added many pieces to our curriculum to support students in their success,” Collins said. “The increased use of simulation in the program has increased the depth of our students’ clinical judgement and critical thinking skills, which are key features on the licensure exam.”

UVA Wise is also getting ready to start a new online program this fall to help registered nurses receive a bachelor’s degree online. Provost Sanders Huguenin is eager to welcome the College’s first cohort of students for the new online RN to BSN program this fall. The program allows registered nurses to complete a bachelor’s of nursing degree online so they can remain working as they complete their studies at UVA Wise.

 “The quality education our nursing students receive should bode well as our new students begin the RN to BSN program this fall,” Huguenin said. “Our region will also benefit from the new online program, especially as students who live in the Appalachian Regional Commission will enjoy in-state tuition at UVA Wise.”