To ensure the protection of the public in receiving health services, graduates of nursing schools in the United States are required to pass the National Council Licensure Exam for Registered Nurses in order to become licensed as a registered nurse and be authorized to work in that field.
From 2007-2014, an average of 62 percent of the graduates of the Delaware State University program passed the licensing examination. Over the last four years, the university’s department of nursing has expanded its laboratory facilities and has raised its standards on how it prepares the health professionals who graduate from its program. Admissions to the program have become more selective, there has been increased rigor in the curriculum, and faculty are being held accountable for making students ready to pass the licensing examination.
The effort has paid off. From 2015 to 2017, the passage rate increased to nearly 85 percent. This year 90 percent of the students in the graduating class passed the examination on their first attempt.
Marsha Horton, dean of the College of Education, Health and Public Policy notes that “we serve a student population that is culturally diverse, regionally and ethnically. They all come here with a strong desire to learn and to serve as nurses. It is our responsibility to prepare them with the knowledge and skills they need to pass the licensing exam and to be strong nurses skilled in providing health services to diverse populations.”