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Nursing graduates earn 93.15 percent passing rate on national test
By Melissa Vasquez
Posted: 06/14/2010
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Nursing graduates from The University of Texas-Pan American continue to perform above the state and national averages on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX).

According to Dr. Carolina Huerta, chair of the UTPA Department of Nursing, graduates of the Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program earned an NCLEX passing rate of 93.15 percent in 2009, topping the state average of 91.0 percent and the national average of 88.2 percent.


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UTPA nursing students examine a patient.

NCLEX is the exam used for the licensing of nurses in the United States and is administered by the National Council of State Boards of Nursing.

From 2005 to 2009, UTPA nursing graduates have averaged a 93.7 percent passing rate on the NCLEX, which Huerta is very proud of and credits the nursing faculty for the program’s success.

“We have an extremely dedicated faculty who are committed to making sure that our students are successful when they graduate. In addition, we have great leadership that includes support from the dean’s office on down to the department and the program coordinator,” Huerta said.

In 2008, the UTPA BSN program received one of the highest pass rates in the state – 96.72 percent – performing above the state average of 90.67 percent and national average of 86.67 percent.

This January the BSN program admitted 125 students and is expected to admit at least 130 next spring. Huerta said overall UTPA nursing graduates find employment in the South Texas health care industry.

“All of our graduates have had no difficulty finding employment locally. Based on what I see and hear, most of our graduates start out being employed in hospitals and gain much experience there. A number of our graduates also go into home health care,” Huerta said.

In addition, Huerta finds quite a number of graduates return to UTPA to pursue a Master of Science in Nursing degree, which specializes in two areas including adult health nursing and family nurse practitioner. MSN graduates can also acquire a specialty in the role of nurse educator.

The UTPA Department of Nursing is accredited by the Texas Board of Nursing and its bachelor’s and master’s nursing programs are also fully accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.

For more information about the nursing department, call (956) 665-3491 or visit www.utpa.edu/dept/nursing.