Finding the best answer

UofSC nursing students earn near-perfect pass rate on licensing exam

In the question of life, Lanie Dreyer knew becoming a nurse was the right answer. 

“I just like the aspect of knowing that I can help someone who is hurting or suffering,” Dreyer says. “I’m making a difference however I can, and helping someone get back to better health.”

Soon after graduating in May 2017 from the College of Nursing, Dreyer started work at Palmetto Health Children’s Hospital.

“It’s so much easier for me to connect with kids,” says Dreyer, who was a nanny in high school and college. “For the most part, kids are happy.”

Dreyer is part of a cohort of 158 Carolina nursing students who earned a pass rate of 99.3 percent on the National Council Licensure Examination, the standardized test used for the licensing of nurses in the U.S. The national average for nursing programs is 83.6 percent.

“The College of Nursing’s NCLEX pass rate continues to far exceed the state and national averages,” nursing dean Jeannette Andrews says. “This is especially impressive as we produce more BSN students each year than the majority of the nursing programs in the U.S.”

The licensure pass rate has steadily improved in the past five years as changes have been made to the curriculum for the College of Nursing. The year-to-date pass rate is 98.3 percent.

“Our faculty have made significant changes over the past few years to the simulation training, student assessments and clinical training,” Andrews says. “Our program attracts stellar students who embrace our rigor and standards and aspire to become highly competent, safe and quality providers caring for patients at the bedside and in the community.”

Andrews says the improvements in the nurse preparation especially can be seen in the program’s capstone course during the final semester.

Dreyer can attest to the rigors of the nursing program, which was much more difficult than she anticipated when she entered Carolina. Nursing students must maintain a high grade point average to be accepted into the upper division, the last two years of the bachelor’s program.

From there, the coursework and clinical work are designed to help the students both perform well on the NCLEX and become outstanding, competent nurses. The test is a multiple choice test in which all the answers are right; however, the students must pick the best right answer.

“It’s not just studying the facts, but it’s going a step further,” Dreyer says. “You have to think past the situation, the patient’s status and all their vital signs and what would you do next.”

Dreyer believes that preparation will make her a better nurse. It can be a struggle for some health care professionals — having to decide, not only what will work, but what will work best. 

While still very early in her career, Dreyer is already looking at options, including possibly becoming a nurse anesthetist. She knows that many health care paths are right for her, she just has to pick the best one. 

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