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MNU Nursing Grads Achieve 100% Pass Rate of the NCLEX

The Class of 2011 graduates of MNU’s redesigned Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing (ABSN) degree program can lay claim to an amazing accomplishment;100 percent passed the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX) on the first attempt. According to the National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN), which administers the test, about 88 percent of U.S. educated bachelor’s-prepared nursing graduates passed the test on their first attempt in 2011. MNU’s 2011 graduates of its traditional BSN program can boast a 93 percent first-time pass rate.

Last revised in 2010, and reviewed every three years for its applicability to current nursing practice, the NCLEX changes as nursing practice becomes more complex and challenging. According to a 2010 article by Janet Boivin, RN on, the NCLEX subsequently gets more difficult to pass, never easier. 

Add the fact that ABSN students are in an accelerated, one-year program, and the accomplishment takes on even greater meaning. ABSN students take up to 24 credit hours in each of three semesters during the year, and are in classes or labs for 26 to 36 hours per week. Add five or more hours of study per day, and one begins to understand that these nursing students must be capable and committed to complete the program and graduate.

Gwen Wagner, MS, APRN-C, assistant professor and ABSN department chair, says the program is geared toward students who already have a bachelor’s degree and are making a career change.

“Gearing the program to second-degree students, brought us a group of mature, experienced, intelligent adults who worked extremely hard,” Wagner says. “They developed a team mentality and really helped and supported one another through the process. We are very proud of our students.”

Wagner says the graduates, who completed their degrees in December 2011, are quickly finding employment in the field of nursing. Eighty-two percent are already employed, mostly in the Kansas City area. 

When Dr. Susan Larson, dean of the School of Nursing and Health Science set about redesigning the ABSN, her standards were high. Restructuring the program from five semesters in 20 months to three semesters in 11 months, the change in curriculum and program length were research-based and considered the needs of  adult learners.

“The development of the new ABSN program required faculty to be innovative and think outside the box regarding current practices in nursing education,” Larson says. “Our overarching goal was to provide an accelerated format that did not compromise quality. During the intense year-long program, all indicators suggested that students were achieving the desired goals. We were delighted to have confirmation of this as evidenced by 100 percent of the class completing the program; their 100 percent NCLEX pass rate; and their quick success in the workforce.”

Larson credits the highly qualified faculty who helped develop and now teach in the program.

“I would like to express gratitude to Professor Wagner for her passion for students and nursing excellence, with which she maintained the highest standards throughout the program,” Larson said. “Our nursing faculty continue to pursue excellence, quality, and innovative thinking for all of our nursing programs.”

Ultimately, Larson and Wagner believe nursing is a calling. 

“We believe nursing is a vocational ministry, a true calling of God, and an opportunity to serve humanity by caring for the needs of others,” Larson says.  “We’re thankful for the impact these students are contributing toward their ministry by way of the nursing profession.


Clarification: A statement submitted on March 1 stated that MNU's Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing (ABSN) graduating class of 2011 was the first class to achieve a 100 percent pass rate on the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX) on the first attempt. In fact, MNU has had a successful 20-year history with accelerated BSN education and several graduating classes have achieved this impressive pass rate on the first attempt. MNU's ABSN program was recently restructured from five semesters in 20 months to three semesters in 11 months. All 35 students who were admitted completed the program and all 35 passed the NCLEX on the first attempt. 

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