Florida nursing school put on probation for low NCLEX pass rates

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Tallahassee-based Florida A&M University School of Nursing has been put on a two-year probation by the state's nursing board because of its low first-time passing rates, reports the school's news publication FAMU Forward.

FAMU nursing students had a first-time National Council Licensure Examination pass rate of 63.44 percent in 2019 and 66.67 percent in 2020. The Florida Board of Nursing requires programs meet the national average first-time pass rate of about 91 percent. 

The FAMU pre-licensure program will be reevaluated in January 2022 to determine if probation will continue for the second year, said Shelley Johnson, EdD, MSN, dean of the nursing school.

Administrators submitted a detailed plan of action to improve the pass rate. While improvements were integrated in fall 2020, additional evidence-based improvements will be applied over the coming months, Dr. Johnson said.  

"The data shows we are trending upward and our preliminary interventions are working," said Dr. Johnson, who was hired in 2020 to revitalize the program.

"If you compare the first quarter data in 2020 to the first quarter data in 2021, you will see that there has been approximately a 20-percentage point increase from December 2019 graduates, which was 57 percent, to the December 2020 graduates, which was 76 percent," Dr. Johnson said. "This increase occurred with only partial remediation measures applied." 

"Our goal for 2021 is to reach the first-time NCLEX pass rate of 90 percent," Ms. Johnson said in a letter to students. 

FAMU's School of Nursing was previously placed on probation in 2018 after two consecutive years of low passing rates on license exams.  

The nursing school remains accredited.

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