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Nursing pass rates at Alabama community colleges outpace national average

May 10, 2024

Nursing students are pictured here.

Alabama’s licensed practical nurses (LPNs) and registered nurses (RNs) trained through the Alabama Community College System (ACCS) are more prepared for the healthcare industry than nurses across the nation, according to the results from the National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN).

The Alabama Board of Nursing reported more than 95% of the colleges’ LPN candidates and nearly 94% of the RN candidates successfully passed the NCSBN’s Next Generation NCLEX (NGN). The NCLEX is a standardized test that measures whether nursing school graduates have the necessary preparation and critical thinking skills to work as entry-level nurses.

Nationally, pass rates hover between 68% for RN candidates and 75% for LPN candidates. At Northeast Alabama Community College (NACC), RN candidates passed the NCLEX at a rate of 92.11%. PN students from NACC boasted an impressive 100% pass rate. 51 students will graduate from the Northeast Nursing program later this month.

“The successful pass rate in Alabama shows nursing students are prepared with the critical clinical judgment and decision-making abilities that are needed to begin a nursing career in the state, and we at the Alabama Board of Nursing applaud Alabama’s community college nursing faculty for continually striving to ensure the next generation of nurses are well-equipped to serve,” said Peggy Benson, Executive Officer for the Alabama Board of Nursing.

A total of 21 LPN programs and 21 RN programs serve residents pursuing training through Alabama’s community and technical colleges. Dr. Bryant Cline, Director of Healthcare Programs for the ACCS, stated success rates continue to climb as faculty and staff invest time into professional development that keeps them on the cutting edge of instruction for health sciences programs.

“When we discovered the NCLEX was changing last year, nursing faculty was proactive in ensuring they were teaching the correct content for their students to be successful. This dedication to producing excellent nurses in the state has – as always – paid off for Alabama’s communities who rely on nurses to be skilled and caring,” he said.

In addition to nursing candidates training through clinicals and labs, businesses partner with local colleges to offer nursing apprenticeships that ensure a seamless flow of workers into one of Alabama’s most in-demand fields.

Amy Price, Chief Nursing and Chief Operating Officer of Coosa Valley Medical Center, said a nursing apprenticeship collaboration the medical center has with Central Alabama Community College is an example of how integral community colleges are to workforce development in the state.

“You can imagine, being a freestanding, rural hospital, partnerships are very important to not only our existence but to our sustainability, and so when we look over our partnerships, I can’t think of one that’s more important to us today than the good work community colleges are doing in their programs,” she said.

“It’s really paying off in terms of putting people to work with credentials to meet the demands of healthcare today.”


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