Nursing graduates pass licensing exam in record numbers
Posted: 11/21/2008
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Graduates of the Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program at The University of Texas-Pan American received a 96.72 percent pass rate on the exam they are required to pass to become registered nurses.

UTPA nursing student Ruben Vela practices his nursing skills with the SimMan, a portable and advanced patient simulator which allows students to practice realistic emergency treatment of patients in the classroom.

Sixty-one students, the majority of whom were December 2007 graduates, took the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX) and received one of the highest pass rates in the state, according to Dr. Carolina Huerta, chair of the UTPA nursing department.

"I felt quite elated and proud of our nursing program and faculty," Huerta said. "I believe that we have wonderful, committed faculty, who have worked very hard to prepare our students for success upon graduation."

The UTPA nursing graduates, with a pass rate of 96.72 percent, performed above the state average of 90.68 percent and many other nursing schools.

"We have enjoyed high pass rates in the past, but this is the highest pass rate in the past three to four years," Huerta said.

The BSN program admits about 110 students to the BSN program every January.

Most of the graduates remain in the Valley and work at health care facilities in the area Huerta said.

"Additionally, the graduates are BSN prepared and can return to school to complete a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree," she said.

For students with bachelor's degrees who are interested in continuing their education, the MSN offers three areas of specialization including, adult health nursing, family nurse practitioner, and pediatric nurse practitioner.

In addition to accreditation by the Texas Board of Nursing, the University's bachelor's and master's nursing programs are also fully accredited by the National League for Nursing and the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.

For more information about the nursing department, call 956/381-3491 or visit