Florida's NCLEX pass rate falls to 64%, lowest in US

The number of Florida nursing students who passed the National Council Licensure Examination has fallen for the third consecutive year, a new report from the Florida Center for Nursing found. 

The state workforce center, based in Tampa, Fla., surveyed 301 nursing education programs in the state between Nov. 2 and Dec. 9, 2022.

Last year, 63.88 percent of registered nursing students passed the NCLEX, down from 64.79 percent in 2021 and 68.92 percent in 2020.

Florida has had the lowest NCLEX pass rates in the country since 2017, according to The Tampa Bay Times. The state pass rate sits far below the national average of 79.9 percent, though state trends have mirrored a national decrease in pass rates since the pandemic. 

The report comes as investigations continue into a coordinated scheme that involved selling more than 7,600 fraudulent diplomas and transcripts from three now-shuttered nursing schools in Florida. Aspiring nurses paid between $10,000 and $15,000 for fake nursing degrees and transcripts, which allowed them to qualify for the National Council Licensure Examination without completing the required coursework. About 37 percent of those who bought fake documents passed the test, and many went on to gain licensure and secure employment at U.S. healthcare facilities, according to federal authorities.

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