This story has been corrected.
East Texas nursing students performed well on the National Council Licensure Examination in 2018, according to the Texas Board of Nursing data.
The NCLEX is a national exam nursing students take after graduation to receive a nursing license. Passing rates for 2018 were the most recent available.
LeTourneau University in Longview and East Texas Baptist University in Marshall had 100% passing rates, while nursing schools at Kilgore College, University of Texas at Tyler, Tyler Junior College, Panola College and Northeast Texas Community College all scored above 85%, and most were above 90%.
LeTourneau University had 12 students take the test, and ETBU had 14.
ETBU also achieved a 100% pass rate in 2017, 2016 and 2015. LeTourneau earned a 100% pass rate in 2016 and 2017.
LeTourneau reported in the spring that it achieved the top ranking of 119 nursing schools in Texas with a 100 percent passing rate on the first try in the third annual State RN Program Rankings recently released by RegisteredNursing.org .
ETBU sent a written statement that the university earned a 100% pass rate in spring 2019, as well. Other area schools said they did not have the spring 2019 pass rates available. Becky Davis, assistant vice president of marketing and communication at ETBU, said in an email the information about pass rates is not available to the public online and was only verified through an instructor portal.
LeTourneau’s nursing school is about to start its sixth year, said Dean of Nursing Kimberly Quiett. The program is making changes to achieve more growth.
“We are adding faculty so we have more capacity to bring in more students,” she said. “We’re also working with more clinical facilities to have clinical space for students. We’ll continue to add more resources.”
Quiett said one of those clinical facilities is the new Everest Rehabilitation Center on Loop 281 in Longview. The program also added more nursing homes. Those spaces will provide additional room to accept more students.
Kilgore College students came in just below LeTourneau and ETBU with a score of 95.74% after 45 out of 47 students passed. That’s compared with 2014, when only 67%, or 79 out of 117 testers, passed.
At the UT Tyler nursing school, which includes the program at the Longview University Center, 302 out of 320 nursing students passed the exam, giving the school a 94.38% pass rate.
Tyler Junior College logged the next highest pass rate at 93.24%, with 207 out of 222 test-takers passing.
Jodi Seal, department chair of TJC Associate Degree Nursing, said the school’s high pass rate is because of hard work by the faculty and students.
“One of the things we pride ourselves on is a lot of hands-on, practical experience,” she said. “We have a lot of clinical hours that our students are working in the patient setting. We push our students.”
Seal said that push starts with setting professional guidelines at the beginning of the program.
“It’s important that we keep up to date with what’s going on in health care today,” she said. “There’s been some research that at the national level we need to do a better job at getting our students to think critically. We also have to get them past just that basic knowledge; we have to get them to think in a more complex way.”
The nursing school at Panola College in Carthage dipped below the 90s for its pass rate when 60 students succeeded out of the 67 who took it. The school scored 89.55%.
“We have a great RN program at Panola College,” Annissa Jackson, chair of nursing programs, said in a statement. “We continually evaluate and implement positive changes in our program giving our students a valuable education and preparing them for nursing practice.”
Northeast Texas Community College in Mount Pleasant came in with the lowest pass rate of area nursing schools with an 85.71% score. The nursing school had 36 out of 42 students pass the exam.